New clinical studies for invasive breast cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in U.S. women after skin cancer. An estimated 281,500 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year. Better therapies are needed to help women live healthier, longer lives after a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer.  

At Providence Cancer Institute, our breast cancer experts are researching new treatments for women with triple-negative breast cancer and HER2-positive breast cancer – two types of invasive breast cancer. 

Preoperative immunotherapy and cryoablation for triple-negative breast cancer 

The purpose of this phase II study is to determine if cryoablation, a treatment to destroy cancer cells with extreme cold, and immune checkpoint inhibitorsa type of immunotherapy, will improve survival in women whose breast cancers do not contain estrogen and progesterone receptors or the HER2 protein (triple-negative). Cryoablation may also help the immune system mount an anticancer immune response. 

Study participants will receive the following immune checkpoint inhibitors before cryoablation and surgery: 

  • Ipilimumab, a CTLA-4-blocking antibody that may enhance the magnitude and potency of an anticancer immune response 

  • Nivolumaba PD-1-blocking antibody that may interfere with regulatory functions which allow cancer to evade detection by the immune system 

After cryoablation, participants will undergo standard care surgery followed by additional treatments of nivolumab.  

Participants must have confirmed triple-negative, invasive cancer that has progressed after standard care chemotherapy. Women planning to have a mastectomy or breast conserving surgery are eligible. 

This study is led by medical oncologist David Page, M.D. Get the full study details here: 

For more information or to enroll a patient, call our Clinical Research office at 503-215-2614 or submit a referral form. 

Immunotherapy and targeted therapy for women with HER2-positive breast cancer 

In this phase III, placebo-controlled study, investigators will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of atezolizumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor, with targeted therapy for women whose breast cancers produce the HER2 protein (HER2-positive). Eligible participants will have residual invasive breast cancer after standard care and surgery, with a high risk for cancer recurrence.  

Study participants will be randomly selected to receive atezolizumaba PD-L1-blocking antibody that may have anticancer activity, or a placebo. All participants will receive standard care trastuzumab emtansine, a HER2-targeted therapy. 

Alison Conlin, M.D., MPH, medical director, Providence Breast Cancer Medical Program and High-Risk Breast Cancer Clinic, is the study principal investigator. Get the full study details here: 

For more information or to enroll a patient, call our Clinical Research office at 503-215-2614 or submit a referral form. 

See more breast cancer studies 

More than 20 research studies investigating a broad spectrum of breast cancer therapies and interventions are open at Providence Cancer Institute. We offer studies aimed at improving cure rates, quality of life and survival for early-stage and metastatic breast cancer. These studies range from our own investigator-initiated trials to studies sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. 

New studies are added frequently. Visit our website to view all breast cancer studies, multi-indication trials, and our complete list of studies for all cancers. 

A team of breast cancer specialists 

Providence Cancer institute offers a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to breast care. Achieving optimal breast health and providing world-class treatment for breast cancer are equal priorities in our continuing goal to improve women's health.  

Our clinical and research teams include dedicated breast surgeons, oncologists who specialize exclusively in breast cancer, as well as breast-cancer-focused nurse navigators and research nurses, genetic specialists, nutrition counselors, oncology social workers, laboratory scientists, data coordinators and lab assistants. Every person on this team is passionate about providing the best possible care and the best available treatments for women with breast cancer. 

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