Anchor lead: Women with triple negative breast cancer have a new treatment option, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Triple negative breast cancer, where the tumor lacks receptors for commonly used drugs, often has a poor prognosis. Now a treatment using chemotherapy and a drug called pembrolizumab before surgery saw tumors disappear more often than with chemo alone. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, is cautiously optimistic.
Nelson: How much did the cancer shrink? In particular in what fraction of the cases did the cancer completely disappear and what they saw in interim analysis for the 600 women who got far enough to ask this question, 65% has disappearance of all the cancer by the time they got out that far as opposed to 51.2% without the drug, so chemotherapy alone was pretty effective it got half of them to a pathologic complete response but the addition of pembrolizumab made more women get a pathologic complete response. :33
Nelson believes this approach may be the new standard for treatment. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.