Seeking to improve patient outcomes by improving response to existing therapies and developing new therapies.
Current research is focused on developing a novel approach to immunotherapy in breast cancer.
These studies may lead to alternative approaches to improving response to anti-PD-L1 therapies in breast cancer.
New immunotherapies targeting the programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) have shown promising results in clinical trials for several cancers. However, only about 15-20 percent of breast cancer patients respond to this therapy and there is an increased risk for developing autoimmune disorders from the therapy.
PD-L1 is a protein that is produced by many cells types including cancer cells. It works to regulate immune response by binding to its companion receptor, PD-1 on T-Cells, thereby shutting down immune response. The normal functioning of this immune regulation can go awry in tumor cells, allowing tumors to escape immune surveillance and go undetected by immune cells that are capable of killing them. Therefore, it is imperative to develop better immunotherapy treatments.
To this end, Drs. Hung and Hortobagyi are exploring a novel approach to immune checkpoint therapy for the purpose of developing new PD-L1 targeted drugs, while also investigating the causes of resistance to these therapies in an effort to develop combination therapy to overcome the resistance.
Dr. Gabriel Hortobagyi is an internationally recognized expert in clinical and translational research of breast cancer. He is Professor and the Chair Emeritus of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He was Hematology/Oncology Training Program Director at MDACC for many years and continues as member of the educational faculty.
He is Past President of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and is one of the world's leading authorities on the management of breast cancer. Dr. Hortobagyi is recipient of numerous awards. He has over 1000 full-length publications in peer-reviewed journals, and over 140 book chapters to his credit. Dr. Hortobagyi served on various task forces and committees of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, served on the Board of Directors, and in 2005 was elected President. He served as President of the International Society of Senology, as a member of the U.S. National Committee for the International Union Against Cancer, the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Progress Review Group, and the Integration Panel of the Breast Cancer Research Program of the Department of Defense, chaired the Steering Committee of the Breast Health Global Initiative, the Health Advisory Board of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the NCI’s Operational Efficiency Working Group. Dr. Hortobagyi is currently the Chair of the Southwest Oncology Group Breast Committee and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.