NCCN Guideline Updates in HR+ Breast Cancer: Focus on Extended Adjuvant Therapy - Episode 7

Treatment Limitations in HR+ Breast Cancer

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Dr. Lee Schwartzberg comments on unmet needs in the treatment of early-stage HR+ [hormone receptor-positive] breast cancer.

Kristie Kahl: What are some of the unmet needs in the treatment of early-stage HR+ [hormone receptor-positive] breast cancer?

Lee Schwartzberg, MD, FACP: Because early-stage HR+ breast cancer is such a common subtype of breast cancer, we still have patients that are relapsing. It is a large number of patients that are at risk. Although, I have to underscore the fact that the majority of these patients do extremely well today because we have the tools now to know when to give them chemotherapy, when to give them adjuvant endocrine therapy, and when to give extended adjuvant endocrine therapy. I think the biggest risk we have left is understanding the patients who are at the highest risk of a relapse. I am excited by the fact that we have data now emerging that using a medication from the CDK 4/6 class abemaciclib in a phase 3 trial showed early benefit because the follow up of this trial is fairly short. But showing that in these patients who were at high-risk of recurrence that abemaciclib added to adjuvant endocrine therapy can reduce that risk of recurrence.

That is not yet approved by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration] in the adjuvant setting. We are hopeful that that might happen in the near future and that would give us another tool. There are other adjuvant therapy trials ongoing with CDK 4/6 inhibitors as well as other targeted therapies. That may help us improve those patients who are at highest risk. Those that have clinically extensive tumors and extensive nodal studies or very high-grade tumors. So we can make even more of an impact on these hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

Kristie Kahl: Well, thank you so much Dr. Schwartzberg.

Lee Schwartzberg, MD, FACP: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Kristie Kahl: Thank you. I hope that you all found this information to be valuable to your clinical practice. Thank you all for watching this Cancer Network® OncView program from MJH studiosTM.

Transcript edited for clarity.