Matthew Ellis, MD, PhD
Endocrine therapy has long been a staple for treatment of patients with hormone receptor (HR)–positive breast cancer; however, most patients will develop acquired resistance or harbor intrinsic resistance to the treatment, said Matthew J. Ellis, MD, PhD.
State of the Science Summit™ on Breast Cancer, Ellis, professor and director, Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center; associate director of Precision Medicine, Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center; and professor of medicine and cellular and molecular biology, Baylor College of Medicine, explained that although these agents have shown strong signals of activity, demonstrating efficacy is merely the first aspect in overcoming resistance to endocrine therapy in patients with HR-positive breast cancer.
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The landscape of endocrine therapy for advanced disease has been a settled question for a long period of time. Major forms of therapy have been anti-estrogens and estrogen deprivation therapy. These drugs have relatively low toxicity. Patients do well on them for various periods of time, but resistance is the problem. Except in rare circumstances, most patients will meet an endocrine therapy resistance “wall” in their treatment between the first few months on therapy when it doesn’t work at all to progression—that could be 3 to 5 years down the line.
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