Roche has unveiled data showing that a combination of Tecentriq and Abraxane significantly slashed the risk of disease worsening or death in some breast cancer patients.

According to the drug giant, the IMpassion130 study is the first Phase III immunotherapy study to show a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS) in the intention-to-treat and PD-L1 positive first-line metastatic triple negative breast cancer populations.

An “encouraging” overall survival benefit for PD-L1 positive population at interim analysis was also observed, while safety in the appeared consistent with the known safety profiles of the individual medicines.

“Highly encouraged by these results, we plan to submit to health authorities globally with the aim of bringing this combination to people with triple negative breast cancer as soon as possible,” said Roche’s chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development, Sandra Horning.

Currently, the main treatments for triple negative breast cancer are surgery and chemotherapy, underscoring the need for new and effective options to treat this form of the disease.

Full results from the trial are to be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.

Tecentriq (atezolizumab) is a monoclonal antibody designed to bind with a protein called PD-L1 expressed on tumour cells and tumour-infiltrating immune cells, blocking its interactions with both PD-1 and B7.1 receptors.

The drug is already approved in several countries for people with previously treated metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and for certain types of untreated or previously treated metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC).