Tecentriq (atezolizumab) was approved in 2019 for PD-L1–positive triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), said Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH, breast medical oncologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Tecentriq (atezolizumab) was approved in 2019 for PD-L1–positive triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), and approval for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy is expected soon, as well, said Aditya Bardia, MBBS, MPH, breast medical oncologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
How has immuno-oncology changed the treatment arena for patients with triple-negative disease?
We got the first immuno-oncology drug approved last year, which was Tecentriq, or atezolizumab, in combination with Abraxane [paclitaxel] for patients with PD-L1–positive triple-negative breast cancer. And earlier this year, we heard the results from the KEYNOTE-355 trial, which looked at pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, and it's expected that that drug would get approved. So we have a couple of chemotherapy-plus-immunotherapy-based options for patients with metastatic disease.
And the other class of drug includes antibody-drug conjugates, like sacituzumab govitecan, which deliver high doses of chemotherapy to the cancer cells and thus can result in disease control. That's one example. There's ongoing research looking at other antibody-drug conjugates.
What can we learn from treatment failure to direct future research?
It's understanding the mechanisms governing resistance. If you understand why the treatment stopped working after a while, then you can address that why and build better therapies.