Find out the latest headlines from day 2 of the ESMO Congress 2019 (27 September – 1 October, Barcelona, Spain) by reading our news highlights below. You can also find out highlights from day 1 by clicking here.
Potential new treatment for triple-negative breast cancer found through immune therapy
A recent clinical trial – termed KEYNOTE-522 – found that prior to surgery, using immune therapy along with chemotherapy improved pathological responses in patients with early, triple-negative breast cancer. The study, which is one of the first Phase III clinical trials of immunotherapy in breast cancer, highlighted a potential improvement in patients’ event-free survival.
In the trial, 1174 patients, prior to their surgery, were randomly treated with either pembrolizumab or a placebo at a 2:1 ratio. All patients received preoperative chemotherapy, along with anthracyclines, taxanes and platinum, for a maximum time of 6 months.
Fabrice Andre (Institut Gustave Roussy, France), who commented on the research on behalf of European Society for Medical Oncology, stated: “Triple-negative breast cancer accounts for 15% of breast cancers. It represents an unmet medical need, since the only approved medical therapy at early stages of the disease is chemotherapy. This study could have a major impact on treatment for these patients.”
Two studies show CDK4/6 inhibitors improve overall survival in advanced breast cancer
Results of two clinical trials (Monaleesa-3 and Monarch 2) have shown that the use of CDK4/6 inhibitors with Faslodex® (fulvestrant) significantly improves overall survival in women with HR+, HER2- advanced breast cancer.
The Monaleesa-3 trial investigated Kisqali® (ribociclib) plus Faslodex as first- or second-line therapy in post-menopausal women. An increase in overall survival was seen in patients who had not been previously treated with hormonal therapy, as well as those who had developed resistance to endocrine therapy.
The Monarch 2 trial evaluated Verzenios® (abemaciclib) plus Faslodex in patients with advanced breast cancer, resistant to hormonal therapy. Significant improvements were seen irregardless of menopausal status.