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Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapy for Male Breast Cancer

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Both targeted therapies and immunotherapy attack cancer cells without affecting healthy cells, so they can be used to treat male breast cancer. There are some differences between these two approaches.

Targeted therapies

Targeted cancer therapies are treatments that target specific characteristics of cancer cells, such as a protein that allows the cancer cells to grow in a rapid or abnormal way. Targeted therapies are generally less likely than chemotherapy to harm normal, healthy cells. Some targeted therapies are antibodies that work like the antibodies made naturally by our immune systems. These types of targeted therapies are sometimes called immune targeted therapies.

Learn more about the following targeted therapies that may be used to treat male breast cancer, including how each one works and any associated side effects:


Immunotherapy medicines use the power of your body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.

The immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy medicines Keytruda (chemical name: pembrolizumab) and Jemperli (chemical name: dostarlimab-gxly) may be used to treat certain male breast cancers.

Keytruda is used in combination with chemotherapy to treat unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative, PD-L1-positive breast cancer. Unresectable means that the cancer can’t be removed with surgery.

Keytruda also is used in combination with chemotherapy before surgery, and then on its own after surgery to treat early-stage triple-negative breast cancer with a high risk of recurrence (the cancer coming back).

Jemperli is used to treat mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) advanced-stage breast cancer that has grown during or after treatment if no other treatment options are available. Fewer than 1% of breast cancers have the dMMR biomarker.

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