Learn about the latest treatments for metastatic breast cancer. We’ve got it covered, from new FDA approvals to emerging approaches in immunotherapy, targeted therapy, cancer vaccines, drug combinations, antibody-drug conjugates, and more.

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    Tucatinib and Trastuzumab Deruxtecan Show Promise in HER2+ Breast Cancer

    Smruti Vidwans, PhD

    In 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug trastuzumab (brand name Herceptin) for people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Overnight, HER2+ metastatic breast cancer became treatable (though not curable). Subsequent successful clinical studies led to use of trastuzumab earlier in the breast cancer journey—after surgery—to help prevent recurrence, as well as in earlier-stage HER2+ breast cancer. Meanwhile, the FDA approved… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Recurrent triple-negative breast cancer is particularly difficult to treat. As reported by Cancer Network, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has now approved the drug sacituzumab govitecan (Trodelvy) for treating people with this disease, depending on their stage and treatment history.

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  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from The ASCO Post curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recently made key updates to its clinical practice guidelines. This news story provides a summary of the updates.

    Go to full news story published by The ASCO Post.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from GenomeWeb curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the drug pembrolizumab (brand name Keytruda) for solid tumors based solely on whether they have a high tumor mutational burden—a high number of changes in the DNA of the cancer cells.

    Go to full article published by GenomeWeb.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from The ASCO Post curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    Based upon clinical trial results compared to controls, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved additional uses for the drug tucatinib (brand name Tukysa) in combination with trastuzumab and capecitabine.

    Go to full article published by The ASCO Post.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes:

    Breast cancer is the most common potentially lethal cancer diagnosed among American women. The great majority are cured, but that does not mean that the topic is without disagreements. To learn more, read this authoritative, up-to-date, detailed presentation from Medscape.

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Cancer Commons is extremely engaged and proactive. Its professionals have directed us towards interesting avenues to explore in our search for additional treatment options.

Mark Bezner
Husband of stage IV ovarian cancer patient

Molecular tests help match patients to the personalized treatments that are most likely to work for them. Keep up with new developments in genetic tests, blood tests, liquid biopsies, biomarkers, precision medicine, and next-generation sequencing.

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    Testing for Tumor Mutations: Liquid Biopsy Versus Traditional Biopsy

    Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Update as of August 27, 2020: A lot has changed in the three-and-a-half years since this blog post was written. Liquid biopsies are by now widely recognized and used as a valuable diagnostic and monitoring tool. Many of the reservations and concerns described in the original post below have been addressed and largely resolved by refining the technology. The latest proof of this is… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from CAP Today curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    Tumor boards are an established method of dealing with problem cancer cases. In precision oncology, they may, even must, be molecular. This is a great example of how a molecular tumor board can provide actionable insights for patients.

    Go to full article published by CAP Today.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    The current guidelines for genetic testing of breast cancer patients limit the number of women who can get tested. Because of these restrictions, these tests miss as many patients with hereditary cancers as they find, according to a study published Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

    ” ‘Unfortunately, insurance companies pay attention to these guidelines,’ said Dr. Peter Beitsch, co-author of the study and a cancer surgeon practicing in Texas. Insurance companies and other payers reimburse genetic testing — or not — based on the guidelines.”

    Go to full article published by CNN on Dec 12, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from MedPage Today:

    “A tumor necrosis-based gene expression signature (GS) successfully identified patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) responsive to neoadjuvant therapy with the novel targeted agent LCL161, according to researchers.

    “The international, randomized phase II trial of 207 patients with localized TNBC showed that of the 30.1% with GS-positive disease, a significantly higher pathologic complete response (pCR) was seen in those treated with paclitaxel plus the inhibitor of apoptosis antagonist LCL161 compared with those treated with paclitaxel alone (38.2% versus 17.2%).”

    Go to full article published by MedPage Today on Oct 5, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from OncLive:

    “Developing predictive biomarkers will be key to treating patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), especially when choosing a targeted therapy, said Banu K. Arun, MD.

    “In a presentation during the 2018 OncLive® State of the Science Summit™ on Breast Cancer, Arun said there is evidence that PARP inhibitors as well as immunotherapy in combination with various agents may be effective in women with TNBC and BRCA1-related breast cancers, but the science isn’t there yet.”

    Go to full article published by OncLive on Aug 29, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from OncLive:

    “As a medical oncologist and investigator, Rinath M. Jeselsohn, MD, focuses on the detection and clinical implications of ESR1 mutations in estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer. She is a member of the research team in the lab of Myles A. Brown, MD, at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, where investigators are seeking to elucidate the factors underlying the mechanisms of hormone responsiveness, particularly steroid hormone receptors, in human cancers.

    “Jeselsohn, who has led numerous studies into ESR1 mutations, discussed the field in an interview with OncologyLive®.”

    Go to full article published by OncLive on Aug 3, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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Some of the most promising new treatments for metastatic breast cancer are currently being tested in patients enrolled in clinical trials. We help you stay up to date on the latest results from these studies.

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from Medscape curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    This year’s virtual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) featured five important studies on metastatic breast cancer, as outlined in this video.

    Go to full article and video published by Medscape.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    An experimental drug has shown promise in extending the lives of women suffering from a particularly aggressive and deadly type of breast cancer, according to the results of a phase 2 trial.

    “Right now, the standard treatment of chemotherapy for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer has not been very effective. That might change with the new drug, called sacituzumab govitecan, which combines an antibody with a chemotherapy drug to better target cancer cells.”

    Go to full article published by U.S. News on Feb 20, 2019.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “Roche’s Kadcyla was significantly better than Herceptin at reducing the risk of breast cancer recurrence in certain patients with residual disease after surgery, according to new study findings presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

    “Data from the Phase III KATHERINE study show that Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine) as a single agent significantly reduced the risk of disease recurrence or death by 50% compared to Herceptin (trastuzumab) as an adjuvant (after surgery) treatment in people with HER2-positive early breast cancer (eBC) who have residual disease following neoadjuvant therapy.”

    Go to full article published by PharmaTimes on Dec 6, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt:

    “An experimental cancer drug that Novartis hopes will raise the profile of its oncology portfolio cut the risk of death or disease progression by more than a third in breast cancer patients with a hard-to-target gene mutation.

    “The Swiss drugmaker’s BYL719, a so-called PI3K inhibitor also known as alpelisib, combined with hormone therapy fulvestrant boosted median progression-free survival (PFS) to 11 months, up from 5.7 months for patients who got only hormone therapy, the company said on Saturday.”

    Go to full article published by Reuters on Oct 20, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

  •   Emma Shtivelman, PhD

    Excerpt from OncLive:

    “Findings from the MONALEESA-3 trial dispelled the theory that a CDK4/6 inhibitor had to be reserved following recurrence on hormone therapy in postmenopausal patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, explained Dennis J. Slamon, MD, PhD.

    “In the phase III trial, postmenopausal patients with HR-positive, HER2-negative advanced disease who received up to 1 prior line of therapy were randomized 2:1 to ribociclib (Kisqali) plus fulvestrant (Faslodex) or placebo.”

    Go to full article published by OncLive on Sep 18, 2018.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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Cancer Commons is truly unique at rapidly matching patients with advanced cancer with the best precision therapy or clinical trial.

E. David Crawford, MD
Cancer Commons Advisor

Cancer affects many aspects of life, whether you’re newly diagnosed, in the midst of treatment, or in follow-up care. Learn about ways to maintain quality of life, such as palliative care and managing side effects.

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    Pediatric Palliative Care: A Specialty Comes of Age

    Sarah Friebert, MD

    For a child with cancer, palliative care can provide much-needed relief from stress and symptoms—for the patient and their family alike. Palliative care is given alongside cancer treatment, and is not synonymous with “end-of-life” care. In fact, anyone with a serious illness can benefit from palliative care, no matter their long-term outlook. Because of its importance for children with cancer, we are honored to… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Research paper from JAMA Network Open curated by Contributing Editor George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    This study linked continued opioid use after breast cancer treatment to many serious adverse effects in older women.

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  •   George Lundberg, MD

    Article from Medscape curated by Editor in Chief George Lundberg, MD, who notes: 

    Depression is, for obvious reasons, common in patients with advanced cancer. The old, inexpensive drug ketamine—already approved for medical use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—seems rapidly effective, according to small studies.

    Go to full article published by Medscape.

    If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to get support from Cancer Commons.

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    Emphasizing Oncogeriatrics

    With: Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti, MD

    A Q&A with Nicolò Matteo Luca Battisti, MD, Medical Oncologist at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom, and Chair of the Young Interest Group of the International Society of Geriatric Oncology (SIOG); nicolo.battisti@gmail.com Q: Everyone knows that the practice of pediatric oncology is very different from adult oncology. How does the growing field of oncogeriatrics differ from usual adult oncology? A:… Read more »

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    Best Uses of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Patients with Cancer

    With: Val Jones, MD

    A Q&A with Val Jones, MD, Medical Director of Admissions, Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute, Spokane, WA Originally published February 1, 2017 Q: Your principal practice in Spokane, Washington is physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R). What do you find to be the best uses of PM&R in patients with cancer at your facility? A: Rehabilitation medicine is one of the best-kept secrets in healthcare. Although the… Read more »

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    Huge Progress in Palliative Care

    With: Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP

    A Q&A with Diane E. Meier, MD, FACP, Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care; Professor of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai; New York, NY; diane.meier@mssm.edu Originally published November 8, 2017 Q: You wrote in MedGenMed in 2007 that palliative care was the job of all hospitals. In October 2017 you were honored at the National Academy of Medicine for… Read more »

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You’re not alone. Read how other patients and caregivers navigated diagnosis, treatment, and life with cancer. We hope their stories provide insights and hope for your own cancer journey.

More patient stories

Learn more about what’s new in advanced cancer research and treatment, including screening and statistics, using artificial intelligence to improve treatment, and other new horizons in cancer care.

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    Rankings of Most Common and Deadly Cancer Types Will Shift Over Next Two Decades

    In the next two decades, rankings of incidence and death across cancer types will undergo important changes in the U.S., according to new research led by Lola Rahib, PhD, Director of Scientific and Clinical Affairs at Cancer Commons, as well as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) in collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Published today in JAMA Network Open,… Read more »

  •   George Lundberg, MD

    This piece from ASCO Connection outlines the need for and a path to improvement in cancer care for LGBTQIA patients.

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    Can Really Big Data Inform Precise Decisions for Individual Patients?

    With: Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS, FAMIA

    New technologies are transforming cancer research. By optimizing research protocols and leveraging data more efficiently and intelligently, these tools hold the promise to improve personalized cancer care. Here, our Curious Dr. George asks Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS, FAMIA, VP of Informatics at TriNetX, LLC, about the capabilities of his company’s platform. Curious Dr. George: Translational medicine has evolved to include personalized medicine and… Read more »

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    How to Learn About Cancer in a Classroom: Shaping Compassionate Doctors

    With: Marin Langlieb

    The patients and caregivers we serve here at Cancer Commons rely on their doctors to provide expert, compassionate care. Building the skills to give such care can begin early in a doctor’s education. Here, for a change of pace, our Curious Dr. George asks a future doctor about a unique experience that helped her learn how to connect with cancer patients. Marin Langlieb is… Read more »

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    Is Cancer the Best Way to Die?

    With: Richard Smith, CBE, FMedSci

    In 2014, the prestigious medical research journal The BMJ published a controversial piece called “Dying of cancer is the best death.” Here, our Curious Dr. George asks the author of that piece, Richard Smith, CBE, FMedSci, if and how his thoughts on death have since evolved. Dr. Smith was Editor of The BMJ from 1991 to 2004 and is currently Chair of the Lancet Commission… Read more »

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    The Power of Precision Medicine is Exemplified by Tempus

    With: Nike Beaubier, MDNamratha Sastry, PhD

    Tempus—a tech company & partner of Cancer Commons—empowers doctors to make data-driven decisions for their patients in real time. Learn how.

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The coronavirus pandemic presents unprecedented challenges to cancer patients. We can help you understand how COVID-19 might impact your treatment and other aspects of your cancer care.