The addition of an immunotherapeutic drug, pembrolizumab, to chemotherapy first-line treatment improves overall survival by 27% in patients with one type of breast cancer advanced triple negative, according to updated results of a study conducted by the International Breast Cancer Center (IBCC).
This center is leading the international study KEYNOTE-355, the latest results of which are published this Thursday by the scientific journal The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
The latest data support that adding the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab to first-line chemotherapy improves overall survival by 27% in patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer with PD-L1 expression (a biomarker that indicates that the fenders are braking).
The first results of this study, led by the director of the IBCC, Javier Cortés, were presented at the 2020 congress of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO 2020).
Subsequently, more mature overall survival data were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress (ESMO Congress 2021), which led to approval by the European Medicines Agency in October 2021.
“This is very relevant news because triple-negative breast cancer is currently the one with the worst prognosis and one of the subtypes in which oncologists are most interested in finding new therapies that improve survival and survival. quality of life of our patients.pointed out Cortes.
Triple-negative breast cancer – so called because the cells do not contain estrogen or progesterone receptors or produce excess HER2 protein – accounts for about 15% of all breast tumors diagnosed.
It is a very aggressive tumor subtype that spreads rapidly and has the worst overall survival rates when the patient is in advanced disease.
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 nearly seven months in patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer expressing PD-L1.
Median overall survival for patients who received chemotherapy plus pembrolizumab was 23 months, compared to 16.1 months for the chemotherapy plus placebo group.