The new immunotherapy drugs that are working wonders with melanoma patients so far haven’t really worked in breast cancer. Sadly, patients whose breast cancer has spread end up running out of drug options far too soon. Researchers now believe that in breast cancer, immunotherapy will be more effective when combined with existing hormone therapies – but they don’t know which combinations will work for which patients.
We’ve awarded $98,000 to Anita Dunbier at Otago University to identify genetic changes that indicate whether or not a patient will benefit from combined immunotherapy and hormone therapy. Her ultimate aim is to develop a low-cost test to help determine the best course of treatment for individual patients.