Hope Rugo, MD, Highlights the Latest Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Treatment Advances

At the 2019 Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Symposium, experts addressed the latest advancements in the treatment with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Clinical trials are now investigating a number of different avenues for patients with TNBC, including immunotherapy, checkpoint inhibition, antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs), and other novel agents.

"Immunotherapy is very exciting," said Hope S. Rugo, MD. "We saw this marked improvement in pathological complete response [pCR] in KEYNOTE-522 by adding pembrolizumab [Keytruda] to standard neoadjuvant chemotherapy for TNBC."

The phase III KEYNOTE-522 trial randomized over 1100 patients to receive chemotherapy in combination with either pembrolizumab or placebo. The data, which were presented at the 2019 ESMO Congress, demonstrated that neoadjuvant pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy extended pCR rates in patients with early TNBC.

Evidence was also presented that suggest there is a role for ADCs in this space, as well as other agents. PARP inhibitors, in particular, are being explored as a treatment for patients with TNBC, including agents such as olaparib (Lynparza) and talazoparib (Talzenna). Both agents have already been app...

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