Immunotherapy increases survival of the most aggressive breast cancer by 30% – NIUS

A woman is having a mammogram.

  • Added treatment to chemotherapy improves life expectancy for patients with triple breast cancer by a third

  • The study published in the “New England” is carried out, among others, by Spanish doctors

  • 15% of breast tumors are triple negative, one of the fastest and with the worst prognosis

add one immunotherapy drug (prembrolizumab) to chemotherapy improves survival by 27% in patients advanced triple negative breast cancer according to a study by the International Breast Cancer Center (IBCC), led by Spanish oncologist Javier Cortés. He and his team have succeeded in demonstrating that the combination of the two therapies greatly improves the life expectancy of these people.

The study was published on Thursday in the prestigious scientific journal “The New England Journal of Medicine”. “This is very relevant news because triple negative breast cancer eis currently the one with the worst prognosis and one of the subtypes in which oncologists are most interested in finding new therapies that improve the survival and quality of life of our patients,” Cortés emphasized.

Triple negative breast cancer – it is so famous because cells do not contain estrogen or progesterone receptors they also do not produce excess HER2 protein, i.e. they slow down defecation and account for about 15% of all diagnosed breast tumours.

It is a very aggressive tumor subtype, which is spreads quickly and has the worst survival rates overall when the patient is at the stage of advanced disease.

It’s the biggest breakthrough in cancer therapy in the past decade.

A study in 29 countries and with more than 800 patients

The KEYNOTE-355 phase III study was conducted in 209 centers in 29 countries and included a total of 847 patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer, whether or not they expressed the PD-L1 biomarker.

After a follow-up of 44.1 months, the latest data from the KEYNOTE-355 study showed that adding pembrolizumab to chemotherapy treatment statistically significantly increases overall survival by almost 7 months in patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer with PD-L1 expression.

Survival with both treatments is 23 months, almost double that with chemotherapy alone

Median overall survival for patients who received chemotherapy and prembrolizumab was 23 months, compared with 16.1 months in the group who received chemotherapy plus placebo. That’s 7 more months of survival.

The drug in question works by removing the “brake” that this triple negative metastatic breast cancer puts on the defenses that attack the tumor. What it does is let those defenses fight off the malignant cells.

In the United States, this drug, prembrolizumab, is the only one authorized for the immunotherapy of breast cancer. In Europe, there are two. One whose effectiveness in increasing survival has not been proven, and this one, whose trials have opened up a great avenue of therapeutic hope.

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