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BCC 2021 | Access to therapies in South Africa for patients with breast cancer

Carol Benn, MBBCh, FCS, from the Breast Care Center of Excellence, Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa, outlines posters presented at the 2021 St Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference. Firstly, she describes a study of pathological complete response (pCR) rates and clinical characteristics of patients with HER2 positive breast cancer undergoing early-stage neo-adjuvant chemotherapy with Herceptin. This work is particularly relevant in South Africa, as patients there do not have access to trastuzumab in the neoadjuvant setting, and she looks forward to utilizing Herceptin as well as dual therapies in the neoadjuvant setting in the future. Additionally, Dr Benn describes a study of pCR in triple-negative breast cancer patients and describes findings that patients with high levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) tend to do better. She shares her hopes that patients who do not respond as well could move onto platinum-based treatments. This interview took place during the 17th St. Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference.

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