A guest blog post from Breastlink Research Development Manager Barbara Stankova.
This is an exciting time in breast cancer research and treatment. We are nearing an era where we can help patients with personalized therapies that specifically target the genetic profile of a patient’s breast cancer tumor(s). The ability to only target cancerous tumors will lead to treatment options that are far more effective – and successful – than traditional breast cancer treatment options.
One of the most motivating annual events for breast cancer advocates and researchers is the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS). Not only are some of the most significant research findings announced during the five day event, it is an amazing opportunity to connect with some of the most passionate and dedicated individuals who are committed to ending breast cancer.
The 2013 SABCS promises to clarify some of the big breast cancer issues – especially in regards to the treatment of HER2-positive and metastatic breast cancer.
Dr. John Link and Breastlink have been involved with targeted therapy research since the 1980’s. One of Dr. Link’s patients, Lynette, was the first patient to receive trastuzumab (Herceptin), one of the first targeted breast cancer drugs, when it was in a phase I clinical trial. Dr. Dennis Slamon (UCLA), along with Genentech, was instrumental in the development and approval of Herceptin.
While the formal events of the 2013 SABCS are often what draw media headlines, side sessions are often just as interesting and educational. I am particularly intrigued by an event hosted by the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBBC).
Dr. Slamon, during a NBBC Projection LEAD Advanced Topic Session, will share his insights on two important clinical trials that are investigating the effectiveness of targeted agents on specific types of breast cancer. Breastlink of Orange is a study location for the first trial.
- HR+, HER2 Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer (NCT01942135).
- ER(+)/HER2(-) Advanced Breast Cancer (NCT01740427).
Dr. Slamon will share his insights on a promising new agent, palbociclib, in the treatment of luminal breast cancer. Palbociclib drew attention at SABCS 2012, and has since received the “breakthrough therapy ” designation from the FDA.
Thanks to the work of the research team, Breastlink of Orange was among the first locations in the nation to offer patients the opportunity to participate in the study, referred to as PALOMA-3.