NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center Buzzing With Breast Cancer Research

Thought leaders from NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center highlight the latest groundbreaking breast cancer research being conducted at their institution.

At the 2019 OncLive® State of the Science Summit™ on Breast Cancer, we asked thought leaders from NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center to highlight the latest groundbreaking research being conducted at their institution.

Nina D'Abreo, MD

Nina D’Abreo, MD

Medical Director, Breast Program, NYU Winthrop Hospital, and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, NYU Langone Health

“At the moment, we are participating in a variety of clinical trials that are being run by large groups as well as the pharmaceutical industries. One of them that’s exciting is the open-label NATALEE trial, in which investigators are adding ribociclib (Kisqali), which is another CDK4/6 inhibitor, to endocrine therapy as adjuvant therapy for [patients with hormone receptor—positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer]. It will be interesting to see what that will show. Of course, we have many exciting trials in other spaces, as well, such as in the metastatic setting and in the non-estrogen receptor–positive space.”

Douglas K. Marks, MD

Douglas K. Marks, MD

Medical Oncologist, Clinical Instructor of Medicine, NYU Langone Health Perlmutter Cancer Center, NYU Winthrop Hospital

“We are opening two trials that are particularly relevant for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer in light of recent data. One is a neoadjuvant trial, where patients receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy as well as an immunotherapy agent. Specifically, in the triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) space, there have been data that suggest that early incorporation of immunotherapy is helpful when given. I’m excited to be able to offer this to patients.

Additionally, in HER2-positive breast cancer, some of the APHINITY biomarker studies have come out at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting. There does appear to be an immunogenicity to this subtype of breast cancer as well. Therefore, this will be a trial that I believe will be promising. There’s also a similar trial that we are planning to open in the metastatic setting, where immunotherapy is offered in the first-line setting for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.”

Sylvia Adams, MD

Sylvia Adams, MD

Director, Breast Cancer Center, NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, and Professor, Department of Medicine, NYU Langone Health

“At NYU, we have done a lot of immunotherapy research for TNBC. I have led several trials, not just in the United States, but also globally, that have contributed to the knowledge base that we have so far. We know that single-agent immunotherapy can be effective in some women, but also, combinations with chemotherapy and immunotherapy have become the standard of care in the first-line setting. I’m very proud of those achievements, but we’re still not there. We still need to look at different combinations. We need to continue to study the immune system in these patients to learn more and come up with even smarter, [more effective] combinations.”

Shubhada Dhage, MD

Shubhada Dhage, MD

Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Director, Breast Surgical Services, and Associate Director, Breast Health Program, NYU Winthrop Hospital, NYU Langone Health

“Over 20 years ago, there were reports that the incidence of breast cancer is higher in Long Island and that the patients are younger at diagnosis. As such, our program at NYU remains committed to health literacy, advocacy, and conducting research to better support these young patients. Through my research, online informational tools have been created to help patients better understand breast surgery and to support shared decision making—especially in the multicultural population that exists in New York City region. Recently, our program participated in a multi-institutional health literacy clinical trial which is now nearing completion.

In addition, I am committed to advocacy through my work with the Advisory Board for the Center for Disease Control’s Young Women with Breast Cancer Committee and the Advisory Board for Young Survival Coalition. Both endeavors are dedicated to guiding research and health policy to better support young patients. Specifically, the studies that have been done are focused on patient-centered outcomes and decision-making. Currently, I am working with other investigators at the institution to conduct tumor genomic research utilizing artificial Intelligence to better understand progression of disease in patients with triple-negative disease. In addition, NYU WInthrop is a Hidden Scar Center of Excellence and promotes oncoplastic techniques to improve surgical outcomes for young women."