Immune to Cancer: The CRI Blog



Breast Cancer Awareness Month: 2021 Immunotherapy Research Updates

Breast cancer is still a prevalent disease that affects thousands of women every year. Thanks to advances in oncology, more treatments are becoming available for breast cancers. In July 2021, the U.S. FDA approved the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for patients with high-risk, early-stage triple-negative breast cancer, in combination with chemotherapy, and then continued alone after surgery. This aggressive breast cancer is often harder to treat, so this approval is a major win for breast cancer patients.

This October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, learn about new treatments, cancer research discoveries, and our impact on a future immune to breast cancer.

Ask Your Immunotherapy Questions

Join Dr. Leisha Emens of UPMC Hillman Cancer Center at the 2021 Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit on October 7–8, 2021 in a live discussion about immune-based treatments for breast cancer. This free event connects you with cancer patients and immunotherapy experts from the comfort of your own home.

Register for the virtual summit

Treatment Update for Breast Cancer

At the 2020 CRI Virtual Immunotherapy Patient Summit, Dr. Sylvia Adams, oncology clinical research manager of NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center, led the breast cancer session, shared a concise overview of currently available immunotherapies, discussed treatments in clincial trials, and answered questions in a live Q&A.

Breast Cancer Patient Story

Barbara was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer in 2002 and received a metastatic diagnosis in 2015. After gruesome years of multiple cancer treatments, she signed up for an immunotherapy clinical trial and received pembrolizumab with eribulin. While treatments were hard to endure, immunotherapy pushed her into long-term remission. She has not had any cancer treatments in over five years. 

Read Barbara’s cancer story

Breast Cancer Scientist Spotlight

CRI Fellow Shaofeng Liu, PhD, of University Health Network in Canada, observed that cancer-related nAChR is required for functional cancer-killing T cells. His current research is examining the role that the receptor plays in the development of these T cells. This work should uncover how changes in the receptor-encoding genes usher defects in the generation of effective T cells and identify prospective cancer immunotherapy approaches.

Learn about Dr. Liu’s Cancer Research

Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer Info Update

On April 7, the FDA granted regular approval to the antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan (Trodelvy) for triple negative breast cancer. As the research and treatment landscape evolves, we keep our information up to date.

View Breast Cancer Update

Find a Breast Cancer Clinical Trial

A variety of new and promising cancer immunotherapy treatments are only available to patients in clinical trials. Help speed the development of potentially lifesaving drugs. Discover trials for which you or a loved one may be eligible with the CRI Immunotherapy Clinical Trial Finder.

Find a Cancer Clinical Trial

Support Breast Cancer Research

CRI Fellow Christian Bassi, PhD, in the lab of CRI Scientific Advisory Council member Tak W. Mak, Ph.D., at University Health Network (Canada) is studying the tumor suppressor PTEN gene, the disruption of which is linked to several cancers, including HER2-positive breast cancer, and resistance to treatment. His most recent study, published in Cell Death and Differentiation, explored molecular causes of this disruption and uncovered a new path to tumor development. This knowledge may help scientists develop new therapies to prevent or repair this cancer-causing molecular mechanism. This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, support lifesaving cancer immunotherapy research. 

Donate to Breast Cancer Research

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