Hannah Linden, MD
Professor of Medicine, Medical Oncology Division
Physician, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
Professor, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
University of Washington School of Medicine
Testing a new imaging method to predict response to therapy in estrogen receptor positive/HER2-negative breast cancer.
Many individuals with hormone receptor(HR)-positive breast cancer can be treated successfully with endocrine therapy (ET), but the cancer can return. Some patients with recurrent disease will benefit from additional ET approaches, including addition of cell cycle inhibitors (CDK4/6i), but others who don’t respond will need to go on to chemotherapy. Currently, there is no good way to predict which choice is the best for an individual patient. Drs. Linden and Dehdashti are developing a method to use PET imaging, in order to determine—within days—whether an individual with recurrent HR-positive disease is likely to benefit from additional ET and CDK4/6i. This test could help to direct individuals quickly to the best treatment, sparing those likely to respond to ET from the side effects of chemotherapy, and avoiding the cost and delay from ineffective ET for those not likely to respond.
The phase two trial will be performed in HR-positive/HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer patients. Before, during, and after treatment with ET and CDK4/6i (abemaciclib, Verzenio®) patients will receive a PET scan, using a special imaging tracer, which is designed to reveal if the estrogen receptor is still active in their tumors. Drs. Linden, Dehdashti, and their teams will then assess if estrogen receptor activation correlated with patients’ response to this therapy.
Hannah Linden, MD is associate program director of the Medical Oncology and Hematology Fellowship Program at Fred Hutch and UW Medicine. She is a breast cancer specialist who treats patients at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, the Hutch’s clinical-care partner, and Harborview Medical Center. Her clinical expertise is in hormone therapy, including treatments that target estrogen receptors. Dr. Linden also studies new breast cancer therapies and molecular imaging techniques, such as using PET scans to confirm the effectiveness of estrogen-blocking and estrogen-depleting therapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer. She is also interested in improving access to care in medically underserved, vulnerable populations.
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