What’s Next for the HER2-Negative Breast Cancer Space?

Evanthia Roussos Torres, MD, PhD, discusses the next steps and novel therapies currently showing promise in the HER-2 negative breast cancer space.

Evanthia Roussos Torres, MD, PhD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, discusses the next steps and novel therapies currently showing promise in the HER2-negative breast cancer space.

A phase 1 study (NCT02453620) is evaluating the safety, tolerability, and preliminary antitumor activity of entinostat (MS-275) in combination with nivolumab (Opdivo) with or without ipilimumab (Yervoy). For patients with HER2-negative breast cancer, the treatment led to a few immune-related adverse events and a 30% objective response rate.

While this study shows the early efficacy and safety of the combination in patients with advanced breast cancer, Torres notes that a lot of work is continuing to be done in the field, including understanding the tumor environment, working to better responses in patients, examining suppressor cells, and more.


0:08 | It's important to note that in breast cancer, especially, we've been trying to understand the tumor environment in more detail so that we can come up with more specific targets and biomarkers that will help improve response rates for this large population of patients. What I think is interesting is the suppressor cells that are becoming more and more characterized within the different subtypes of breast cancer, specifically, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, as well as differences between MI and M2 macrophages.

0:38 | I think we're starting to understand how these innate immune cells are contributing to the lack of response to checkpoint inhibition, and that more specific targeting of those cell types has a lot of potential to improve responses. A lot of the work is being done in the field.