Recent Advancements in the Field of Breast Cancer

October 8, 2013
Aditya Bardia, MD, MPH

Aditya Bardia, MD, MPH, discusses recent advancements in the field of breast cancer.

Aditya Bardia, MD, MPH, attending physician, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, discusses recent advancements in the field of breast cancer.

Bardia says researchers are discovering new targets for hormone receptor-positive (HR+) breast cancer and are understanding more about endocrine resistance.

The results of the BOLERO-2 trial, which looked at the combination of aromatase inhibitors and mTOR inhibitors, have opened up the field to allow endocrine therapies to be combined with other targeted agents to potentially reverse endocrine resistance, Bardia says. These combinations will change the landscape of HR+ breast cancer.

For HER2+ breast cancer, Bardia thinks there will also be more combination therapies of HER2-directed therapies. Double combinations or even triple combinations would eventually obviate the need for chemotherapy, Bardia says.

Bardia thinks researchers need to do a better job in the field of triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). The problem with TNBC, Bardia says, is that it is difficult to know what to target. Finding a positive target will allow researchers and physicians to improve the outcomes of patients with TNBC.

Clinical Pearls

  • Combining endocrine therapies with other targeted agents will potentially reverse endocrine resistance in HR+ breast cancer
  • Combinations of two or three HER2 directed therapies could eventually obviate the need for chemotherapy for patients with HER2+ breast cancer
  • Once researchers find a positive target in TNBC, they will be able to improve the outcomes of patients with TNBC