Lilly’s Approach to Metastatic Breast Cancer

The goal to cure metastatic breast cancer (MBC) — that is what has driven Maura Dickler, M.D., each day of her professional life. Whether as a practicing oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) or now as vice president, late-phase development, at Lilly Oncology, Dr. Dickler has built her career on making significant contributions to breast cancer research. After seeing the dedication and enthusiasm of her Lilly colleagues while working as a principal investigator on the MONARCH 1 clinical trial at MSKCC, Dr. Dickler decided to move to the pharmaceutical development side of the business. She saw her new role as an opportunity to make a different impact on the lives of people with MBC. Here, Dr. Dickler shares her vision for the future of Lilly Oncology’s research and development program.

Q. What have been some of the biggest challenges in treating patients with MBC, and why is it important to individualize therapy for patients?

A. We know that there are various types of MBC that can pose a challenge to oncologists in identifying the right treatment regimens. Hormone receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2–negative (HER2–) is the most common subtype of MBC, making up about 70 percent of all cases of advanced disease. Still, even within this group, not all patients are the same.

At Lilly, we are continuing to research prognostic factors so that we can continue to help clinicians who see patients every day make data-driven treatment decisions.

Q. What are your priorities for continuing to advance MBC research and patient care at Lilly Oncology?

A. I'm most excited to continue our research and advance ongoing clinical trials evaluating our MBC medicine in different types and stages of breast cancer, including monarchHER clinical trial in HR+, HER2+ MBC and nextMONARCH in refractory MBC.

We are committed to advancing research as the breast cancer treatment landscape continues to grow and evolve. Our goal is help patients – wherever they may be in their treatment – get the most from their therapy, so they can live longer, healthier, more active lives.