With the latest research findings highlighted at the 2020 ASCO Annual Meeting in mind, it’s clear that there’s a new horizon opening for the breast cancer era. However, there are still some challenges that we need to address as a field, as Dr. Bora Lim explains.
Identifying Barriers in Breast Cancer Care & Where Further Research Is Needed
Welcome to Breaking Boundaries in Breast Cancer on ReachMD, sponsored by Lilly. We recently caught up with Dr. Bora Lim, Assistant Professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Lim shared with us some of the challenges in breast cancer treatment that still need to be addressed based on the latest research findings that were presented at the 2020 ASCO Annual Meeting. Let’s hear from her now.
With the KEYNOTE-355 result published in ASCO 2020, there is a new horizon opening for the breast cancer era. However, there are some few challenges that we still need to address as a field. I think No. 1 is the biomarker part. As you know, the IMpassion130 as well as the KEYNOTE-355 and then other KEYNOTE studies, they are reporting out different outcomes of the biomarker that is predicting the response to the immunotherapy, and most recently, the pembrolizumab, which is part of the KEYNOTE-355, also has been approved based on the tumor mutation burden, which is very different from how they measure the immunotherapy response compared to programmed death-ligand 1, which is the PD-L1. Therefore, the field probably has to come together in trying to solve the issue; how we’re going to test and report out who’s going to respond to the immunotherapy and how we can guide different treatment options for these patients using the immunotherapy. More importantly, the other subtypes, not just triple-negative breast cancers but the Luminal B, HER2-positive, the patient who doesn’t really respond to standard therapy, would need to be tested to see if the immunotherapy can actually bring up the activity for these patients who are told to be immune cold so far.
Lastly, I think the combination strategy has to be really tested. There are numerous test agents to say we are going to boost up the immune activity in not only breast cancer but other cancer. They really need to bring up to the breast cancer and has to be tested for our patients as well.
That was Dr. Bora Lim discussing some of the challenges that exist in the breast cancer field. To revisit any part of this discussion and to access other episodes in this series, visit ReachMD.com, where you can Be Part of the Knowledge. Thanks for listening!
- Host: Bora Lim, M.D.
Although we've made great strides in breast cancer treatment thanks to recent research, there’s still much more work to be done.
Sara Tolaney MD, MPHPeer