Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer

January 27, 2017

Immunotherapy is a treatment approach that harnesses the immune system to recognize, attack and eliminate cancer.

The opportunity to conduct immunotherapy research for breast cancer patients is what drew medical oncologist David Page, M.D., to Providence Cancer Center from Memorial Sloan Kettering. He joined Providence to work alongside internationally known scientists, led by Walter Urba, M.D., Ph.D., as part of a team that has believed in and advanced immunotherapy for more than two decades, beginning long before it was a widely accepted cancer treatment. “There is so much here,” says Dr. Page – “the collaborative rather than competitive atmosphere, the proximity of research labs to patients – and everything is under one roof.”

Dr. Page soon will be opening an immunotherapy trial of IRX-2 for patients with early-stage breast cancer – IRX-2 has been shown to shrink tumors in other kinds of cancer:

A Phase Ib Study to Assess the Safety, Tolerability and Immunologic Activity of Preoperative IRX-2 In Early-Stage Breast Cancer 

Description: This will be a Phase Ib study conducted to determine the safety and tolerability of an IRX-2 regimen in ESBC, to be administered pre-operatively before standard-of-care surgical resection and following standard-of-care diagnostic biopsy. 

Eligible subjects will have early-stage breast cancer of any receptor subtype, for which standard-of-care surgical resection is planned. To be eligible, a minimum of 1 core of tumor-bearing biopsy material must be available for research analysis.

The IRX-2 regimen will be administered in all enrolled subjects. IRX-2 will be administered by subcutaneous injection into the periareolar skin of the affected breast.

Dr. Page also is leading an immunotherapy study for patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer – this study is enrolling patients now:

A Pilot and Phase II Study to Assess the Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of Pembrolizumab Plus Chemotherapy in Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer Patients 

Description: The goal of this study is to establish the safety and tolerability of pembrolizumab when administered in combination with either of two chemotherapy regimens (weekly paclitaxel or capecitabine) in unresectable/metastatic triple negative breast cancer (MTNBC) patients. 

In the pilot phase, patients will be enrolled to one of two experimental arms, which will be selected by the treating investigator (arm A: pembrolizumab + weekly paclitaxel; arm B: pembrolizumab + capecitabine).

See all breast cancer studies currently open to patients at Providence Cancer Center.