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Topic: BCO Podcast: Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer: Part I

Forum: Immunotherapy - Before, During, and After —

Discuss your experiences with the benefits, risks, and side effects of immunotherapy treatment for breast cancer.

Posted on: Jul 18, 2018 12:20PM - edited Jul 18, 2018 12:23PM by Moderators

Moderators wrote:

Immunotherapy for Breast Cancer: Part 1, March 28, 2018

Sherene Loi, M.D, Ph.D.

Loi sherene

Dr. Sherene Loi is a medical oncologist who specializes in treating breast cancer. In addition to treating patients, particularly patients diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer, she also leads the Translation Breast Cancer Genomics and Therapeutics Laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia, where she is a professor. Much of her clinical research focuses on investigating new treatments, such as immunotherapy, especially for breast cancers that have become resistant to standard treatments.

Listen to the podcast to hear Dr. Loi explain:

  • results from the PANACEA trial, which looked at using the immunotherapy medicine Keytruda (chemical name: pembrolizumab) along with Herceptin to treat Herceptin-resistant, HER2-positive, advanced-stage breast cancer that had high levels of PDL-1, a biomarker that indicates that Keytruda will be effective
  • how an immunotherapy medicine like Keytruda works
  • what tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are and why cancer tumors with high numbers of TILs seem to respond better to immunotherapy
  • side effects of immunotherapy medicines

Running time: 17:52

Listen now or read the transcript.

To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jul 21, 2018 01:38AM Amica wrote:

Thank you for this podcast! and thank you Mods for letting us know about it.


1998 at 39 Stage 2 IDC, 1/16 nodes, ER/PR +, HER2-,Gr 3, surgery, AC + Taxol, rads, oopher/hysterectomy, Tamoxifen, Aromasin completed 2010 - Aug 2018 metastatic recurrence Stage IV, ER+ PR- HER2-, Gr 3, Sept 2018 Letrozole/Ibrance, Prolia
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Jul 22, 2018 07:39AM MissBianca wrote:

Thank you so much for creating this forum. I believe it is a the most advanced form of treatment, and your support will encourage our women and men to seek it out. šŸ˜ŠšŸ’•

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2018/06/06/florida-w...


Hope is the dream of a soul awake.
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Jul 22, 2018 03:53PM mandymoo wrote:

Thank you for this forum as it looks like this may be the way to go for many of us in the near future.

My oncologist asked me if i was interested in going in a trial for immunotherapy after chemotherapy has failed me for the third time in almost six years, so thats not bad. I say go ahead, I hope I qualify and its all in the interest of the next generation of cancer patients. Lets hope that its the holy grail.

"Don't give in to the disease" Dr Phil McGraw Dx 12/13/2006, IBC, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/28/2006 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/20/2007 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Dx 11/17/2012, IBC, Right, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, 11/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/27/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Jul 23, 2018 03:40AM Amica wrote:

Oh manymoo, hoping so much you get in a clinical trial and that it goes well for you.

take care,

Amica

1998 at 39 Stage 2 IDC, 1/16 nodes, ER/PR +, HER2-,Gr 3, surgery, AC + Taxol, rads, oopher/hysterectomy, Tamoxifen, Aromasin completed 2010 - Aug 2018 metastatic recurrence Stage IV, ER+ PR- HER2-, Gr 3, Sept 2018 Letrozole/Ibrance, Prolia
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Jul 23, 2018 02:01PM HealingHope wrote:

I am presently being treated with the immunotherapy drug opdivo for my stage 4, triple negative, pleomorphic lobular breast cancer. At the time I began receiving treatment I was very sick. I had failed 6 lines of therapy for stage 4 breast cancer and was being referred for hospice care. Little did I know I was on the cusp of experiencing a level of healing that feels nothing short of miraculous.


Following an emergency surgery at UCSD, San Diego, CA, I learned about a clinical trial called "I-Predict" (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02534675).

The purpose of this study is to learn more about personalized cancer therapy. Genomic testing on my tumor tissue was used to develop a treatment plan specifically targeted to my cancer cells. Due to the very high tumor mutation burden of my cancer, as well as a high PD-1, I was considered a good candidate for immunotherapy treatment with opdivo.

Here was my BENEFIT:

After just 4 immunotherapy infusions my tumor markers dropped significantly (82% to 94%). I began treatment mid February and by July, all tumor markers were within normal range. After just 8 weeks of therapy my CT scans suggested a complete response. The cancer lesions were no longer visible!

I am feeling great! In fact, last January, I had a surgery which confirmed that the cancer previously seen in my GI tract is all GONE. My own immune system is presently able to recognize and kill the cancer cells.

Here are some RISKS:

Immunotherapy super-charges the immune system. The risk is that one will develop autoimmune disorders. The disorders range from big scary things like: lupus, GI tract inflammation, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), scleroderma, liver disorders, thyroid disorders, pituitary gland disorders to small and manageable things like an occasional UTI, conjunctivitis, skin rash or other very treatable "-itis". I think the big scary things are very uncommon.

Here were my side effects:

My joints began to enlarge and though I had no pain, it appeared I was developing RA. Symptoms did not progress and I feel fine (several joints in my fingers remain enlarged). I also had eczema flare ups that went away. I had two occasions of conjunctivitis for no apparent reason. It went away with eye drops. The skin on my hands showed symptoms of scleroderma. It went away.

MORE BENEFITS:

I am ALIVE. I have NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE ANYWHERE!! Before treatment, one of my tumor markers, the CA27.29, had reached over 1300. For the last 12 months, it has remained within the normal range of less than 38.6. At the time I began treatment, I had from weeks to perhaps 1-2 months to live. I am just so grateful to be alive! Sometimes I wake up long before daylight with the same joy and excitement a child feels on Christmas morning. Like the young child, I force myself to remain in bed until the first light of day. Then I bounce out of bed confident that this new day will overflow with gifts. And it does!

I am grateful to God for the gift of more time with my family and friends. I am grateful to researchers for unraveling some of the mysteries associated with cancer. I am grateful to you for reading and perhaps sharing my story so that a cup of hope may be given to someone in need. While I cannot know if or when I may have a recurrence, I do know that I have today. What a gift!!

Friend, leave no stone unturned. Explore clinical trials. Pursue genomic testing to see if immunotherapy or another form of targeted therapy might benefit you. From the rear view mirror, I see the hand of God in the glove of so very many circumstances that have permitted me to be alive today to write these words you are readying. I pray my story will become your story.

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Jul 23, 2018 03:53PM - edited Jul 23, 2018 03:58PM by Amica

Dear HealingHope

Your post is so inspiring and informative! Thank you! I am so glad for you the results you have gotten! That is amazing. Medicine owes its progress to intrepid and brave women like you who are willing to lay it on the line and try new therapies. This one sounds so promising. I am sorry for the unpleasant side effects you have suffered but like you said -- yay! you're alive. I salute you! I hope you keep us updated on your progress.

Thank God for clinical trials. If I find myself in a situation where a clinical trial might be appropriate I am going to try my hardest to get into one myself. I don't know my staging yet after a recent recurrence and I guess they normally try conventional therapies first.

take care,

Amica


1998 at 39 Stage 2 IDC, 1/16 nodes, ER/PR +, HER2-,Gr 3, surgery, AC + Taxol, rads, oopher/hysterectomy, Tamoxifen, Aromasin completed 2010 - Aug 2018 metastatic recurrence Stage IV, ER+ PR- HER2-, Gr 3, Sept 2018 Letrozole/Ibrance, Prolia
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Jul 23, 2018 04:25PM mandymoo wrote:

Healinghope, how inspirational your story is.... I see my oncologist tomorrow to discuss and I will wait and see. Fingers crossed that this thread will be all positive outcomes, wouldn't that be fantastac!

Hugz

mandymoo

"Don't give in to the disease" Dr Phil McGraw Dx 12/13/2006, IBC, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/28/2006 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/20/2007 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Dx 11/17/2012, IBC, Right, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, 11/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/27/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Jul 23, 2018 04:26PM mandymoo wrote:

Amica, I forgot to thank you for your posts. Heres hoping that more people will get onto this thread with positive outcomes.

hugz

mandy

"Don't give in to the disease" Dr Phil McGraw Dx 12/13/2006, IBC, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/28/2006 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/20/2007 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Dx 11/17/2012, IBC, Right, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, 11/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/27/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Jul 23, 2018 10:29PM - edited Jul 23, 2018 10:29PM by Amica

Dear mandymoo

I am so sorry you have had chemo failures at Stage IV. It must be so frightening. I feel for you. I do think immunotherapy is worth a shot, I think it is the future of cancer treatment, and fervently hope and pray that you are able to get into a clinical trial and achieve a good outcome. Please let us know what happens.

Standing in support & solidarity with you,

Amica

1998 at 39 Stage 2 IDC, 1/16 nodes, ER/PR +, HER2-,Gr 3, surgery, AC + Taxol, rads, oopher/hysterectomy, Tamoxifen, Aromasin completed 2010 - Aug 2018 metastatic recurrence Stage IV, ER+ PR- HER2-, Gr 3, Sept 2018 Letrozole/Ibrance, Prolia
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Jul 25, 2018 04:19PM mandymoo wrote:

apparent;y it will be phase 1 of ATX 101. No placebos. I am waiting to get the paperwork in the mail as I see my oncologist through teleconference. there doesn't appear to be any research papers that I can find and not much information at all. I see him in another 3 weeks. At the moment I am a bit confused and I am also thinking about getting a second opinion, so I will see what happens within the next month.

"Don't give in to the disease" Dr Phil McGraw Dx 12/13/2006, IBC, 3cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 11/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/28/2006 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 5/20/2007 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Dx 11/17/2012, IBC, Right, 3cm, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone/liver/lungs, Grade 2, 11/22 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/27/2012 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Jul 25, 2018 04:45PM Amica wrote:

Mandymoo,

Good for you. Let us know as you learn more. A second opinion can't hurt. The decision is up to you of course.

take care,

Amica

1998 at 39 Stage 2 IDC, 1/16 nodes, ER/PR +, HER2-,Gr 3, surgery, AC + Taxol, rads, oopher/hysterectomy, Tamoxifen, Aromasin completed 2010 - Aug 2018 metastatic recurrence Stage IV, ER+ PR- HER2-, Gr 3, Sept 2018 Letrozole/Ibrance, Prolia

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