FDA approves breast cancer immunotherapy treatment

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Breast cancer ribbon. (Credit: CBS)
Credit: CBS

Making progress in the fight against breast cancer as the Food and Drug Administration approved a new treatment that can save more lives.

It is the first combination of immunotherapy drug and chemotherapy for treating an aggressive type of breast cancer that does not respond well to other treatments.

It is called triple negative breast cancer. It makes up about 15 percent of breast cancers and is more likely to be diagnosed in women less than 50-years-old.

Dr. Jame Abraham, an oncologist at Cleveland Clinic, said advancements in immunotherapy would hopefully lead to more treatment options for other types of breast cancer in the future.

“This is a small step forward for this subset of patients,” Dr. Abraham said. “But we are really hopeful and optimistic that potentially immunotherapy can be a treatment option for probably wider subset of patients.”

Immunotherapy works by activating the body’s immune cells to attack the cancer cells. It has been effective in treating skin, lung and bladder cancers.

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