Immunotherapy: insights from advanced disease

Published on July 31, 2019   37 min

Other Talks in the Series: Periodic Reports: Advances in Clinical Interventions and Research Platforms

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My name is Sara Tolaney, I'm a breast medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Today, I'm going to be reviewing immunotherapy for the treatment of breast cancer with insights from the advanced disease setting. Immunotherapy has really been
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a paradigm shift in the way that we approach treatment for cancer. It allows us to utilize the patient's own immune system to target their malignancy and allows for the potential for a long duration responses. It's been generally associated with lower rates of toxicity than we've previously seen with chemotherapy and it allows us to utilize a smart strategy to overcome the molecular complexity of cancer. Immunotherapy has been successful in the treatment of
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both hematologic and solid tumors and very recently, we've achieved the first FDA approval for immunotherapy in metastatic triple-negative breast cancer with the combination of nab-Paclitaxel and atezolizumab. Development of immunotherapy in breast cancer has been
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more challenging than it has been in some other solid tumors. One reason for this may be that breast cancer is associated with a lower tumor mutational burden than we've seen in cancers where immunotherapy has been quite successful such as melanoma and lung cancer. If you can see here on this chart, that both melanoma and lung cancer is associated with very high tumor mutational burdens, whereas breast cancer has been associated with much lower rates of tumor mutational burden. This may be why we see less neoantigen production and less stimulation of the immune system. Most of the work focusing on immunotherapy in breast cancer has initially been in the triple-negative setting.
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Immunotherapy: insights from advanced disease

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