Clinical trial brings advanced breast cancer treatment

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Sanford Health is one of only four sites across the nation that will offer a clinical trial to determine whether a vaccine can help fight advanced breast cancer.

It’s part of Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, which was started by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in early 2016 and is considered by many to be the most comprehensive cancer collaborative in the country.

The goal of Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 is to accelerate potential cancer treatment options through unprecedented collaboration among pharmaceutical companies, the government, academia and the scientific community.

The investigational vaccine being tested in this research study will focus on using immunotherapy, a therapy that uses the body’s own immune system to fight cancer.

“Our mission at Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 is to turn cancer into a chronic disease, not a life-threatening disease,” Soon-Shiong said. “Sanford Health is a key partner in helping us achieve that goal. Their drive to bring advanced cancer treatment options to even the most rural areas shows their commitment to fighting cancer.”

This study focuses on certain types of advanced breast cancer and will only be offered at four sites across the nation, including Edith Sanford Breast Center in Sioux Falls. It is a novel immunotherapy vaccine studying the safety of the treatment in those with advanced breast cancer, specifically those with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic HER2-low-expressing (IHC 1+/2+) breast cancer who are undergoing treatment.

Dr. Amy Sanford, a medical oncologist at Edith Sanford, is the trial’s principal investigator. Her team will study if an immunotherapy vaccine designed to strengthen the body’s immune system can help patients fight breast cancer that cannot be treated with surgery or that has metastasized and is characterized by the HER2 gene.

“After years of offering clinical trials and ranking the potential of immunotherapy high on Sanford’s list of priorities, the power of our comprehensive clinical research program is evident by Cancer Breakthroughs 2020’s selection of Sanford to help start the inaugural study of the project,” said David Pearce, Ph.D. executive vice president for Sanford Research.

“The next generation standard of care will be the result of teamwork among organizations like Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 and Sanford Health.”

Sanford has been involved with Cancer Breakthroughs since it started and is a founding member of the program’s pediatric consortium. Dr. Soon-Shiong also is working with Sanford on clinical trials for HPV-related cancers like head and neck cancer, cervical cancer and anal cancer.

Patients who would like to see if they are eligible for the advanced breast cancer trial can call 1-87-SURVIVAL.

Posted In Cancer, Health Information, News, Research, Women's