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Serial immunological parameters in a phase II trial of exemestane and low-dose oral cyclophosphamide in advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer

Kwa, Maryann; Li, Xiaochun; Novik, Yelena; Oratz, Ruth; Jhaveri, Komal; Wu, Jennifer; Gu, Ping; Meyers, Marleen; Muggia, Franco; Speyer, James; Iwano, Alyssa; Bonakdar, Maryam; Kozhaya, Lina; Tavukcuoglu, Ece; Budan, Bahar; Raad, Roy; Goldberg, Judith D; Unutmaz, Derya; Adams, Sylvia
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Resistance to endocrine therapies in hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer is a significant challenge. Prior studies have shown that low-dose oral cyclophosphamide can transiently deplete regulatory T cells (Tregs) and improve anti-tumor immunity. We investigated the combination of exemestane with cyclophosphamide in patients with advanced HR-positive breast cancer and assessed changes in circulating immune cell subsets. METHODS: This was a single-arm phase II trial of exemestane with cyclophosphamide in patients with metastatic HR-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer who had progressed on prior endocrine therapy ( NCT01963481). Primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) at 3 months (RECIST 1.1). Secondary objectives included median PFS, objective response rate, duration of response, and safety. Circulating Tregs (FOXP3+Helios+) and other immune cell subsets were monitored during treatment and compared with healthy controls. RESULTS: Twenty-three patients were enrolled. Treatment was well tolerated, without grade 4/5 toxicities. Objective responses were seen in 6/23 patients (26.1%; 95% CI 10.2-48.4%) and were durable (median 11.6 months). Three-month PFS rate was 50.1% (95% CI 33.0-76.0%); median PFS was 4.23 months (95% CI 2.8-11.7). No treatment-related decrease in Tregs was observed. However, elevated baseline levels of Naive Tregs [greater than 2.5 (the median of the naive Tregs)] were associated with relative risk of disease progression or death [hazard ratio 11.46 (95% CI 2.32-56.5)]. In addition, the baseline levels of Naive Tregs (adj-p = 0.04), Memory Tregs (adj-p = 0.003), CD4 + Central Memory T cells (adj-p = 0.0004), PD-1 + CD4 + Central Memory T cells (adj-p = 0.008), and PD-1 + CD4 + Effector Memory T cells (adj-p = 0.009) were significantly greater in the patients than in the healthy controls; the baseline levels of %CD4 + Naive T cells (adj-p = 0.0004) were significantly lower in patients compared with healthy controls (n = 40). CONCLUSION: Treg depletion was not observed with low-dose cyclophosphamide when assessed by the specific marker FOXP3 + Helios +; however, baseline naive Tregs were associated with 3-month PFS. Exemestane/cyclophosphamide combination had favorable safety profile with evidence of clinical activity in heavily pretreated patients.
PMID: 29124456
ISSN: 1573-7217
CID: 2772912

Checkpoint inhibitors in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC): Where to go from here

Kwa, Maryann J; Adams, Sylvia
Advances in cancer immunotherapy and a growing body of research have focused on the role of the antitumor response in breast cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most immunogenic breast cancer subtype, and there is strong evidence that tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in TNBC have prognostic value and are associated with clinical outcome and improved survival. Evading antitumor immunity is a hallmark for the development and progression of cancer. Immunotherapy studies have focused on the role of the programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) receptor/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway in maintaining immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment. Blockade of the PD-1/PD-L1 axis has emerged as a promising therapeutic option to enhance antitumor immunity and is actively being investigated in TNBC, with encouraging results. In this article, the authors review the current literature on checkpoint inhibitors in TNBC with a focus on PD-1/PD-L1 antibodies and discuss combination strategies and novel approaches for improving antitumor immunity and clinical outcome. Cancer 2018. © 2018 American Cancer Society.
PMID: 29424936
ISSN: 1097-0142
CID: 2946762

Outcomes of Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Chemotherapy, Biologic Therapy, Endocrine Therapy, or Active Surveillance During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Marks, Douglas K; Budhathoki, Nibash; Kucharczyk, John; Fa'ak, Faisal; D'Abreo, Nina; Kwa, Maryann; Plasilova, Magdalena; Dhage, Shubhada; Soe, Phyu Phyu; Becker, Daniel; Hindenburg, Alexander; Lee, Johanna; Winner, Megan; Okpara, Chinyere; Daly, Alison; Shah, Darshi; Ramdhanny, Angela; Meyers, Marleen; Oratz, Ruth; Speyer, James; Novik, Yelena; Schnabel, Freya; Jones, Simon A; Adams, Sylvia
PURPOSE:Provide real-world data regarding the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection and mortality in breast cancer (BC) patients on active cancer treatment. METHODS:Clinical data were abstracted from the 3778 BC patients seen at a multisite cancer center in New York between February 1, 2020 and May 1, 2020, including patient demographics, tumor histology, cancer treatment, and SARS-CoV-2 testing results. Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection by treatment type (chemotherapy [CT] vs endocrine and/or HER2 directed therapy [E/H]) was compared by Inverse Probability of Treatment Weighting. In those diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection, Mann-Whitney test was used to a assess risk factors for severe disease and mortality. RESULTS:Three thousand sixty-two patients met study inclusion criteria with 641 patients tested for SARS-COV-2 by RT-PCR or serology. Overall, 64 patients (2.1%) were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection by either serology, RT-PCR, or documented clinical diagnosis. Comparing matched patients who received chemotherapy (n = 379) with those who received non-cytotoxic therapies (n = 2343) the incidence of SARS-CoV-2 did not differ between treatment groups (weighted risk; 3.5% CT vs 2.7% E/H, P = .523). Twenty-seven patients (0.9%) expired over follow-up, with 10 deaths attributed to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Chemotherapy was not associated with increased risk for death following SARS-CoV-2 infection (weighted risk; 0.7% CT vs 0.1% E/H, P = .246). Advanced disease (stage IV), age, BMI, and Charlson's Comorbidity Index score were associated with increased mortality following SARS-CoV-2 infection (P ≤ .05). CONCLUSION:BC treatment, including chemotherapy, can be safely administered in the context of enhanced infectious precautions, and should not be withheld particularly when given for curative intent.
PMID: 35641208
ISSN: 1549-490x
CID: 5235912

"Bridge" Neoadjuvant Endocrine Therapy for Early Stage Breast Cancer Patients During COVID-19 at an Academic Hospital in NYC: Lessons Learned and Future Directions

Feinberg, Joshua; Cen, Cindy; Schnabel, Freya; Adams, Sylvia; Plasilova, Magdalena; Yeh, Janet; Meyers, Marleen; Speyer, James; Belenkov, Elliot; Kwa, Maryann; Novik, Yelena; Katz, Elena; Guth, Amber Azniv
ISSN: 2578-9503
CID: 5192472

Phase II study of pembrolizumab and nab-paclitaxel in HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer: Hormone receptor-positive cohort [Meeting Abstract]

Novik, Y; Klar, N; Zamora, S; Kwa, M; Speyer, J; Oratz, R; Muggia, F; Meyers, M; Hochman, T; Goldberg, J; Adams, S
Background: PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint blockade in combination with chemotherapy has improved outcomes in triple-negative breast cancer, but its role in hormone receptor-positive (HR+) metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is less clear. We report the results of the HR+ cohort of a HER2-negative MBC trial.
Method(s): Prospective phase 2 trial where 20 HR+/HER2- MBC patients (pts) received nab-paclitaxel (A) (100mg/m2 IV d1/8, q 3 wks) and pembrolizumab (P) (200mg IV d1, q 3 wks, starting with cycle 2). Eligibility: ER/PR >=1%, HER2 negative, maximum of 2 lines of cytotoxic therapy for MBC, pts could have received prior endocrine and/or targeted therapy. Primary endpoint: best overall response rate (BORR) by RECIST v1.1; secondary endpoints: safety, PFS, clinical benefit rate (CBR), duration of response (DOR), and overall survival (OS). Biomarker analyses are ongoing.
Result(s): In this 20-patient cohort, the median age was 56 (34-75), median lines of cytotoxic chemotherapy was 1 (0-2), 70% (14/20) were ER>10%, 80% (16/20) received prior hormone therapy, and 60% (12/20) received prior CDK 4/6 inhibitors. BORR was partial response (PR) in 5/20, stable disease (SD) in 7/20, and progressive disease (PD) in 7/20. CBR was 35% (7/20). Median PFS was 5.6 mos (95%CI 2.07-8.18), median OS 15.7 mos (95%CI 3.88-27.70) and median DOR was 3.9 mos (95%CI 2.07-not yet reached). Out of 5 pts who achieved PR, 4 (80%) received prior CDK 4/6 inhibitors. The most common related adverse events (AE) were anemia (50%), diarrhea, nausea and ALT abnormalities (40% each). 14 pts experienced grade 3 AEs, the most common being neutropenia, 1 pt had grade 4 AEs (pneumonitis, blood/lymphatics, hyponatremia), and no grade 5 AEs. [Formula presented]
Conclusion(s): P plus A was efficacious with PR in 5/20 and SD in 7/20 pts with a manageable toxicity profile. Importantly, responses were observed in patients previously treated with CDK 4/6 inhibitors. Further investigation of this regimen in HR+/HER2- MBC is warranted. Clinical trial identification: NCT02752685. Legal entity responsible for the study: NYU Langone Health.
Funding(s): Merck (drug-pembrolizumab and financial funding); Celgene (drug-nab-paclitaxel). Disclosure: F. Muggia: Advisory/Consultancy, Member of data safety monitoring committee of Pembrolizumab trials run by Merck: Merck. S. Adams: Advisory/Consultancy, Research grant/Funding (institution), consultant (uncompensated): Merck; Research grant/Funding (institution): Celgene. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interest.
ISSN: 0923-7534
CID: 4470992

Phase II trial of nivolumab with chemotherapy as neoadjuvant treatment in inflammatory breast cancer. [Meeting Abstract]

Kwa, Maryann J.; Tray, Nancy; Esteva, Francisco J.; Novik, Yelena; Speyer, James L.; Oratz, Ruth; Meyers, Marleen Iva; Muggia, Franco; Ty, Victor; Troxel, Andrea; Schneider, Robert; Adams, Sylvia
ISSN: 0732-183x
CID: 5197792

Metaplastic breast cancers: Genomic profiling, mutational burden and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes

Tray, Nancy; Taff, Jessica; Singh, Baljit; Suh, James; Ngo, Nhu; Kwa, Maryann; Troxel, Andrea B; Chae, Young Kwang; Kurzrock, Razelle; Patel, Sandip Pravin; Sharon, Elad; Denkert, Carsten; Ross, Jeffrey S; Adams, Sylvia
Metaplastic breast cancer (MPBC) is a rare subtype that accounts for <1% of all breast cancers. Although these are typically "triple negative," they are relatively chemotherapy-refractory compared to conventional triple negative invasive breast cancers with more aggressive features and an overall poor prognosis. MPBC is a heterogeneous group of tumors that are enriched for TP53 and PIK3CA mutations, and have been found to have high PD-L1 expression though the mechanisms underlying its immunogenicity remain unclear. We perform comprehensive genomic profiling in the largest MPBC dataset (n = 192) to date and assess for other potential biomarkers of immune response.
PMID: 30609392
ISSN: 1532-3080
CID: 3563542

Clinical utility of gene-expression signatures in early stage breast cancer

Kwa, Maryann; Makris, Andreas; Esteva, Francisco J
Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, with different subtypes having a distinct biological, molecular, and clinical course. Assessments of standard clinical and pathological features have traditionally been used to determine the use of adjuvant systemic therapy in patients with early stage breast cancer; however, the ability to identify those who will benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy remains a challenge, leading to the overtreatment of some patients. Advances in molecular medicine have substantially improved the accuracy of gene-expression profiling of breast tumours, resulting in improvements in the ability to predict a patient's risk of breast cancer recurrence and likely response to endocrine therapy and/or chemotherapy. These genomic assays, several of which are commercially available, have aided physicians in tailoring treatment decisions for patients at the individual level. Herein, we describe the available data on the clinical validity of the most widely available assays in patients with early stage breast cancer, with a focus on the development, validation, and clinical application of these assays, in addition to the anticipated outcomes of ongoing prospective trials. We also review data from comparative studies of these assays and from cost-effectiveness analyses relating to their clinical use.
PMID: 28561071
ISSN: 1759-4782
CID: 2591742

Phase II trial of pembrolizumab in combination with nab-paclitaxel in patients with metastatic HER2-negative breast cancer [Meeting Abstract]

Kwa, Maryann J.; Iwano, Alyssa; Esteva, Francisco J.; Novik, Yelena; Speyer, James L.; Oratz, Ruth; Meyers, Marleen Iva; Axelrod, Deborah M.; Hogan, Rebecca; Mendoza, Sandra; Goldberg, Judith D.; Muggia, Franco; Adams, Sylvia
ISSN: 0732-183x
CID: 3726432

Detection and clinical implications of occult systemic micrometastatic breast cancer

Chapter by: Kwa, M; Esteva, FJ
in: The Breast: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases by
pp. 858-866.e3
ISBN: 9780323359559
CID: 3409952