Sherene Loi, MD, PhD, medical oncologist, head, Translational Breast Cancer Genomics Lab, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia, discusses the association between tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and a pathologic complete response (pCR) in patients with breast cancer after being given chemotherapy and trastuzumab.
Loi says breast cancer has not traditionally been considered an immunogenic tumor type, but researchers wanted to investigate how TILs correlated with clinical outcome. In the past, the amount of the immune cells in the primary tumor at the time of diagnosis correlated to better outcomes and higher benefit to trastuzumab when given with chemotherapy in the newly diagnosed setting.
In this particular research, Loi says, the correlation between TILs and trastuzumab benefit was confirmed by selecting data sets of patients that were treated in the neoadjuvant setting with trastuzumab and chemotherapy. Response was measured at surgery and the amount was evaluated.
Loi says the study showed that there was a positive association with the amount of immune cells taken prior to treatment and benefit. In general, the more immune cells the patient had, the higher the chance that the patient had a pCR, Loi says.
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