Nathan M. Merrill, PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, outlines the findings of a study which investigated the optimization of gemcitabine therapy in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The study identified a significant correlation of response to gemcitabine with the AKT substrate MERIT40. MERIT40 promotes repair of damage to DNA which is caused by chemotherapy and thus PI3K/AKT inhibition presents a rational synergistic partner for gemcitabine. Dr Merrill also outlines a study of MEK inhibition in combination with PI3K/AKT/MTOR in basal bladder cancer. This interview took place at the virtual American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2021.