Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women, with roughly 270,000 new cases and more than 40,000 deaths due to the disease each year in the United States. Immunotherapy has shown some promise in advanced breast cancer—last year the FDA, for the first time, approved an immunotherapy combination as a frontline treatment for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Unfortunately, immunotherapy still doesn’t work for most patients with breast cancer.
Therefore, Dr. Mittendorf is working to establish a repository of clinical data, patient tumor samples, and imaging results from breast cancer patients treated with immunotherapy. In analyzing this data, she hopes to improve our understanding of:
- the factors that explain why some patients respond while others don’t,
- the spectrum of adverse events that occur in a “real world” setting, and
- the impact of these agents on the tumor microenvironment to better inform subsequent therapy at the time of progression.
To do so, her team will be analyzing patient tumor samples from before, during, and after treatment, as well as blood and stool samples for immune and microbiome analysis. Ultimately, her findings could help improve clinical care for patients being treated with current immunotherapies as well as highlight potential opportunities for the development of novel immunotherapy strategies against breast cancer.
Projects and Grants
An Exploratory Biomarker Study of Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Atezolizumuab, an Anti-PD-L1 Antibody, and nab-Paclitaxel (TRIBUTE)
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Breast Cancer | 2019
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