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TNBC Data Encouraging, But Unmet Needs Remain

Brandon Scalea
Published: Monday, Feb 25, 2019

Jane L. Meisel, MD

Jane L. Meisel, MD

A better understanding of the biology of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) has led to the development of novel treatment approaches in a space where chemotherapy had been the sole option, said Jane L. Meisel, MD, but researchers are only just scratching the surface and more work needs to be done to further progress.

“Up until recently, all we had was chemotherapy; this approach works for some patients, but it doesn't work well for others,” said Meisel. “TNBC is probably not just 1 disease—some may be driven by BRCA status or by an immune-mediated environment. Some patients may have other targets that we don't even know about yet.”

Immunotherapy, which has had a dramatic impact in other solid tumors, is now making headway in TNBC in the form of checkpoint inhibitors. In results from the phase III IMpassion130 study, the addition of atezolizumab (Tecentriq) to nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane) reduced the risk of disease progression or death by 38% versus nab-paclitaxel alone in patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic PD-L1–positive TNBC.1

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