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AACR 2017: Atezolizumab Associated With Survival Benefit in Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Posted: Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A study presented at the 2017 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington, DC, suggests that immunotherapy may yet hold promise for a subset of patients with triple negative metastatic breast cancer (abstract 2986). According to Peter Schmid, MD, PhD, Director of the St. Bartholomew’s Breast Centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Barts Cancer Institute in London, who reported on an expansion cohort of the phase I study of atezolizumab in 112 evaluable patients, “While all responders were alive after 1 year, the 1-year survival rate for nonresponders was only 38%.” Both 1- and 2-year overall survival rates for responders were 100%; overall survival rates for nonresponders were 33% and 11%, respectively.  Study variables included PD-L1 status [PD-L1 on fewer than 5% of immune cells (IC0/1) vs PD-L1 on 5% or more of immune cells (IC2/3)] and previous treatment (although most patients had received at least 2 lines of prior therapy, atezolizumab represented first-line therapy for 19 subjects).

Noting that "Triple-negative breast cancer is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer often affecting younger women...," Dr Schmid remains encouraged about implications of these findings for future trials.