For Immediate Release
Diane Burke
Public Relations Specialist
Western Connecticut Health Network
(203) 739-7461
New Immune and DNA Targeted Therapies for Advanced Breast Cancer
Studied at Norwalk Hospital
NORWALK, Connecticut - August 5, 2015 - Norwalk Hospital, part of the
Western Connecticut Health Network, has recently opened two important
clinical research trials for women with advanced (stage IV) breast cancer.
The first trial will test whether an anti-PDL1 antibody can improve the effects
of chemotherapy for women with “triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC)” The
anti-PDL1 antibody targets a patient’s immune system so that it can
recognize cancer cells and attack them.
According to Richard Zelkowitz, MD, Medical Director of the Smilow Family
Breast Health Center at Norwalk Hospital, “Women with triple-negative
breast cancer cannot be treated with hormonal therapies or anti-Her2
directed therapies such as the drug Herceptin. The only treatment available
to them is chemotherapy. That is until now. The anti-PDL1 antibody unlocks
the brakes on a patient’s immune system and has been very effective in a
number of other cancers. We certainly hope it improves the treatment of
women with TNBC.”
The second trial is aimed at women who have inherited the BRCA genetic
mutation (that predisposes to breast and ovarian cancer) and have
developed stage IV breast cancer. The trial will test if a new “PARP inhibitor”
drug can improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy to treat the disease. A
mutation in the BRCA1 or 2 genes leads to defects in DNA repair, which
predisposes carriers to breast, ovarian and other cancers. According to
George Zahrah, MD, Director of Genetics at Norwalk Hospital, “PARP
inhibitors have been approved for patients with the BRCA mutation who
develop ovarian cancer, so we hope they will also be effective against breast
cancer caused by the same genetic defect.”
To find out more about these and other cancer research studies at the
Western Connecticut Health Network, contact Jennifer Long, APRN at 203852-2996.
About Norwalk Hospital
Norwalk Hospital is a progressive, patient-centered regional teaching
hospital serving residents of southwestern Connecticut and adjacent New
York. The 328-bed acute care, not-for-profit hospital offers Cardiovascular,
Cancer, Orthopedic, Neurologic and Digestive Disease care with advanced
diagnostics, innovative therapies and state-of-the-art surgery. The hospital
is supported by its very generous community through donations to the
Norwalk Hospital Foundation. Norwalk Hospital is now part of the Western
Connecticut Health Network and one of the Network’s three member
hospitals including Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital, as well as
their physician groups and affiliated organizations. Share your comments
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About Western Connecticut Health Network
Western Connecticut Health Network is the region's premier, patientcentered health care organization serving residents of Western Connecticut
and adjacent New York. The organization, which is now anchored by three
nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and
Norwalk Hospital, as well as their affiliated organizations. In addition to the
three hospitals, the continuum of care offered includes Western Connecticut
Medical Group, an integrated physician practice offering primary and
subspecialty care across the region, Western Connecticut Home Care, an
agency for home health care services, the nationally renowned Western
Connecticut Health Network Biomedical Research Institute, the Western
Connecticut Health Network Foundation, the Norwalk Hospital Foundation,
and other affiliates. For more information, visit Share
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