A more personalized approach to breast cancer treatment such as immunotherapy is expected for 2017.
Peter P. Lee, M.D., the Billy and Audrey L. Wilder Professor in Cancer Immunotherapeutics at City of Hope, has for two decades been interested in treating cancer by stimulating or enhancing a person’s own immune system. This approach, called immunotherapy, has gained much attention in recent years and Dr. Lee is a leader in the field. His outlook for 2017 is full of promise for a more personalized approach to breast cancer treatment.
“It’s very exciting that we’ve seen a dramatic response for immunology in patients with cancers like melanoma, lymphoma, bladder cancer and others,” said Lee, who is chair of the Department of Immuno-Oncology, co-leader of the Cancer Immunotherapeutics Program and professor in the Department of Hematology & Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation. “But breast cancer has lagged behind a bit and so we’re trying to understand why it’s different and how to make immunotherapy more effective for breast cancer patients.”
Fortunately, he said, there have been advances in understanding the relationship between the immune system and breast cancer and the difference between subtypes and their response to immunotherapy.
For example, new data has shown that tumors that are infiltrated by T cells — a type of white blood cell that plays an important role in immunity — translate to better outcomes in response to immunotherapy. However, this effect is seen more so among patients with the subtypes of triple negative and Her2 type breast cancers than in the more common types of breast cancer that fall under the luminal subtypes.
“We have some new insight on why this may be and are working to develop approaches based on those theories that will lead to better immunotherapy options for all types of breast cancer,” said Lee.
|Read Full Article: 2017 Advances in New Immunotherapy Treatments for Breast Cancer | City of Hope Breakthroughs|