James M. Reuben, PhD, MBA, discusses the search for biomarkers in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
James M. Reuben, PhD, MBA, a professor in the Department of Hematopathology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses the search for biomarkers in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
Reuben’s lab searches for biomarkers in patients with cancer, specifically patients with inflammatory breast cancer and breast cancer in general. Biomarkers are defined based on the clinical trial being conducted and tailored to the target being examined, explains Reuben. In one study, patients with triple-negative breast cancer who had stable disease were treated with an anti—PD-1 agent to see if responses could be prolonged in a maintenance trial, says Reuben.
Blood samples are used over tissue samples because, in a metastatic situation, repeat biopsies are not possible using tissue. Looking at biomarkers in the peripheral blood might be useful to monitor patients, stratify them, and see if they are benefitting from therapies, concludes Reuben.