FDA Approves First-of-its-Kind Treatment for Metastatic Breast Cancer


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Breast Cancer Expert and Patient Advocate Discuss Why Mutations Matter for
Postmenopausal Women, and Men, Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer

Dr. Virginia Kaklamani, Professor of Hematology/Oncology at UT Health San Antonio
Shirley Mertz, President of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN)

Americans are more aware than ever about genetic testing and mutations in metastatic breast cancer, such as the increased risks associated with the BRCA1/2 gene. What they may not know is that tumors can develop mutations that impact how the breast cancer responds to treatment. Following a recent FDA approval of a new medicine, postmenopausal women and men living with HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer who have progressed on or after an endocrine-based regimen may be eligible for treatment if a PIK3CA mutation is detected.

The FDA recently approved a new medication to treat women who have gone through menopause and men who haveHR+/HER2- advanced breast cancer or breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic). Thisimportant milestone marks the first time physicians are able to test advanced or metastatic breast cancer patients for aspecific mutation and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Mutations of this kind occur in approximately 40% of HR+/HER2- breast cancers, the most common type of breast cancer. The mutations may lead to tumor growth, cause resistance to endocrine therapies and result in a poor overall prognosis. Dr. Virginia Kaklamani, Professor of Hematology/Oncology at UT Health San Antonio , is available to discuss this newtreatment option for patients.

Shirley Mertz, President of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network (MBCN), is also available to share her perspective on the importance for patients of knowing their breast cancer type.


Shirley and Dr. Kaklamani, why is this FDA approval significant?

Shirley, in your experience as an advocate, how does HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer impact the lives of men and postmenopausal women?

Shirley, what does it mean to have a new treatment option available for patients living with HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer with a PIK3CA mutation?

Dr. Kaklamani, how do PIK3CA mutations affect prognosis and progression in HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer?

Dr. Kaklamani, can you talk about how this new treatment option works? What are the potential risks and benefits of this medication?

Where can our viewers go for more information?

M ore about Dr. Virginia Kaklamani
Dr. Kaklamani is a professor of medicine in the division of hematology/oncology at UT Health San Antonio and is the leader of the Breast Cancer Program at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Kaklamani is a clinical investigator with expertise in designing clinical trials with targeted agents.

More about Shirley M ertz, M A, JD

Shirley Mertz, a retired high school principal, was treated for early stage breast cancer in 1991. In 2003 she received a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer. Since 2004 she has used her voice, passion and skills as a patient advocate for others. In 2009 Shirley successfully led a group of patients to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress to pass a resolution declaring October 13th as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness
Day. Currently, Shirley works to empower patients and improve disease outcomes as the President of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Network; the Chair of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance; a consumer reviewer for the DOD Breast Cancer Program and Komen Scientific Grants; and co-chair of the Scientific Committee for the Fifth International ABC5 Conference. In 2011 the White House honored Shirley as a Champion of Change in Breast Cancer. In 2016 Shirley received the John Mack Carter Founder’s Award from Komen Greater NYC