Trial Is First Evidence That Immunotherapy Can Be Effective for MBC
Susan G. Komen® hailed new findings released by Genentech from their IMpassion130 clinical trial, that for the first time shows evidence of an effective first-line targeted treatment for some people with metastatic triple negative breast cancers. The findings were released at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress, taking place in Munich, Germany.
The findings are the first positive Phase III study of a cancer immunotherapy combination in breast cancer. It showed the combination of Roche’s immunotherapy drug Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) and the chemotherapy drug nab-paclitaxel used as a first-line treatment significantly reduced the risk of the disease worsening and improved survival in people with metastatic (stage IV) triple negative breast cancers that express the PD-L1 protein.
“The IMpassion130 trial demonstrates that there is a substantial advantage in terms of both disease control and survival when the immunotherapy drug, atezolizumab, is added to nab-paclitaxel in a sizable proportion of patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer. The benefit is both real and very meaningful, and this is the first time we have convincing evidence that immunotherapy can be effective in patients with metastatic breast cancer," according to Komen Scientific Advisor Eric Winer, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs, Director, Breast Cancer Program; Thompson Chair in Breast Cancer Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, MA. Dr. Winer serves on the Impassion130 steering committee and is a co-author of the findings released today.
While breast cancer is often referred to as a single disease, there are many subtypes. The type of breast cancer a person has affects treatment options and chances of survival. All breast cancers are tested for estrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. If the tumor tests positive for any of the three, the patient is treated with a targeted therapy. Tumors that test negative for all three are called Triple Negative Breast Cancers (TNBC), an aggressive form of the disease that currently lacks a targeted treatment option. Metastatic breast cancer (also called stage IV or advanced breast cancer) is not a specific type of breast cancer, but rather the most advanced and deadly stage of breast cancer when it has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body (most often the bones, lungs, liver or brain).