Dr. Weitzel on Combination Therapies in Breast Cancer

Jeffrey N. Weitzel, MD
Published: Monday, Nov 26, 2012

Jeffrey N. Weitzel, MD, Chief of the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics at City of Hope, discusses the need to develop combination strategies for patients with breast cancer, in order to overcome the resistance mechanisms that are often caused by tumor heterogeneity.

Researchers are discovering that breast cancer is comprised of several genetics subsets and not just one monomorphic population of cells. As a result, targeting just one subset will eventually lead to resistance, as secondary mutations become prevalent.

To combat this heterogeneity, novel combinations of therapies will be needed that take advantage of genomic technologies. Weitzel describes this as an exciting era in personalized medicine as new therapies are researched that can be given in combination to overcome resistance.

As an example, Weitzel describes what has been witnessed while researching PARP inhibitors. As single agents, they show promising responses that are followed by resistance. In this setting, there is a clear need to understand the resistance mechanisms in order to create effective combination strategies.

Jeffrey N. Weitzel, MD, Chief of the Division of Clinical Cancer Genetics at City of Hope, discusses the need to develop combination strategies for patients with breast cancer, in order to overcome the resistance mechanisms that are often caused by tumor heterogeneity.

Researchers are discovering that breast cancer is comprised of several genetics subsets and not just one monomorphic population of cells. As a result, targeting just one subset will eventually lead to resistance, as secondary mutations become prevalent.

To combat this heterogeneity, novel combinations of therapies will be needed that take advantage of genomic technologies. Weitzel describes this as an exciting era in personalized medicine as new therapies are researched that can be given in combination to overcome resistance.

As an example, Weitzel describes what has been witnessed while researching PARP inhibitors. As single agents, they show promising responses that are followed by resistance. In this setting, there is a clear need to understand the resistance mechanisms in order to create effective combination strategies.




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