Dr. Burris on Predictive Biomarkers for Chemoimmunotherapy in TNBC

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Howard A. “Skip” Burris, III, MD, FASCO, FACP, discusses using biomarkers to determine the benefits of immunotherapy and chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer.

Howard A. “Skip” Burris, III, MD, FASCO, FACP, chief medical officer and president of Clinical Operations at Sarah Cannon Research Institute, 2019-2020 ASCO president-elect, and a 2014 Giant of Cancer Care® in Drug Development, discusses using biomarkers to determine the benefits of immunotherapy and chemotherapy in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

In the phase 3 IMpassion130 trial, investigators are examining atezolizumab (Tecentriq) in combination with paclitaxel in patients with TNBC. The biomarkers used in this study are helping the field to understand which patients might benefit from immunotherapy plus chemotherapy, says Burris.

There are now several opportunities to think about PD-L1 overexpression, tumor mutational burden, and microsatellite instability in this setting; this brings up the idea of cell death. It is known that chemotherapy works fairly well in TNBC, although adverse effects and how long the combination therapy can be administered are questions that still need to be addressed, concludes Burris. 

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