Creating awareness of cancer patient management in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippine Society of Breast Surgeons, is strengthening the importance of continuing education through the webinar series in partnership with various companies including Roche (Philippines) Inc.
For its first webinar series, PSBS focused on “Neoadjuvant to adjuvant therapy: A multidisciplinary approach to patient care”, with medical oncologist Marcelo Severino B. Imasa highlighting the clinical decision points in early breast cancer treatment.
Neoadjuvant therapy is the treatment given as a first step to shrink a tumor before the main treatment or the adjuvant therapy.
“Neoadjuvant therapy offers several benefits for eBC treatment management, as it enables early response assessment, enhances surgical options and early systemic treatment that allows early treatment of micro metastases and provides opportunity for pathologic complete response. This can translate to a longer disease-free survival in certain sub-types,” Imasa said.
PCR pertains to the lack of all signs of cancer in tissue samples removed during surgery or biopsy after treatment.
For Imasa, these medical discussions are especially crucial for patients with high-risk HER2-positive eBC.
“They should receive neoadjuvant therapy with pertuzumab + trastuzumab and chemotherapy to maximize their chance of achieving a pCR,” he said.
Pertuzumab and trastuzumab are targeted therapy drugs used to treat breast cancer.
But he noted that the assessment of residual disease after surgery is a new decision point for adapting adjuvant therapy.
“Adjuvant treatment decisions should be based on neoadjuvant response,” he said.
“This will include the potential to de-escalate axillary surgery, as this will depend on response to treatment.”
Imasa’s lecture was followed by a dynamic discussion among a multi-disciplinary panel consisting of Pierette Y. Kaw, Eric Perpetou E. Arcilla, Maria Luisa Tiambeng, Elizabeth Ann S. Alcazaren, Kathleen H. Baldivia, Hannah Acosta, Ray B. Malilay and Joan S. Tagorda.