Women with one type of breast cancer now have another treatment option, Elizabeth Tracey reports


Triple-negative breast cancer is among the most serious types of the disease, because it lacks cell receptors that many treatments are based on. Now a new study shows that use of an antibody called pembrolizumab improves outcomes. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Nelson: They did a very large randomized clinical trial, very solid evidence. More than a thousand women randomized two to one to get the pembrolizumab along with chemotherapy, after the breast cancer was diagnosed but before any surgery or radiation therapy was done. This is the early data but at 36 months, almost 85% of these women are free of any evidence of disease, versus 77% of them that were free of any evidence of disease with the chemotherapy alone, the chemotherapy alone is effective it’s just not as effective as this combination. :30

Nelson believes these results will change practice in many women with triple negative breast cancer, especially as longer term results continue to come in. at Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.