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Research Progress for Metastatic Breast Cancer

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Published on June 23, 2020

What research is being done to improve outcomes and treatment options for metastatic breast cancer patients?
  
Watch as Dr. Jeremy Force from Duke Cancer Institute explains his research, which is focused on utilizing the immune system to target cancer tumors and looking at receptor tyrosine kinase. He concludes by saying, "Even in metastatic disease, we're moving closer and closer towards a cure." Watch now to learn more and to find out why there is reason to be hopeful.

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Transcript | Research Progress for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Dr. Force:

Hi. I'm Dr. Jeremy Force. I'm at the Duke Cancer Center and I'm a breast medical oncologist. I'm very interested in a couple of aspects of both cancer care and cancer research. From a clinical cancer perspective, I care for, well, all breast cancer subtypes, but I do only care for patients with breast cancer. I do have a fair amount of patients who have aggressive breast cancers that are triple-negative or HER2+ and inflammatory breast cancers are some of the folks that I do see more often, but I do have some others that are maybe not as aggressive. From a research perspective, I'm interested in leveraging the immune system to allow for a patient's own immune system to fight the cancer. And we're doing this in several different ways through clinical trials that I'm involved with here, which unleash the immune system on to the cancer.

This happens to affect more women than men with triple-negative disease than the other ones. So we're trying to look in the lab as to which genes may be interacting with the immune system that we can better understand, that would be inhibiting the immune system, and/or inhibiting the cellular growth in general of the tumor cell. And so, in the lab right now, we have a very unique project that we're looking at receptor tyrosine kinase. And we are developing or really identifying how this specific receptor tyrosine kinase may be implicated in both the immune pathway and also in breast cancer growth. And we are looking at this in-depthly in a lab, both in mice and in tissue culture, and identifying if there are novel ways that we can treat this specific pathway with drugs, that we could then translate into a clinic in clinical trials and allow for the disease burden to be decreased and/or have patients live longer.

The hope that is out there for women and men affected by breast cancer, we have made a tremendous improvement in the lives of our patients with breast cancer to the point where we are curing much of this disease, we're detecting it earlier in patients who have the access to care. And I just want to emphasize the hope that even in metastatic disease, we're moving closer and closer towards a cure. And, lots of this is with the research that we're doing in my lab and in others, that are really trying to advance and push this needle towards improvement of patient's lives and their quality of life.

And so I just want to end this with really hoping or conveying my point to the patients out there that we're all in this together as a part of your team, to help you navigate either specific clinical trials, and/or provide you the latest and greatest cutting-edge therapies that will maybe take away some pain, and/or put you on a new treatment that would potentially decrease the burden of this disease and put things into remission for as long as possible. Hopefully, with new therapeutics coming down the pipeline, we will have a cure for this disease. And I do hope that in my lifetime, we will see that happen.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get the care that’s most appropriate for you.

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