Charity organisation Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) has launched two research teams to support clinical trials involving patients with breast or prostate cancer.

The trials will be conducted in alliance with Roche subsidiary Genentech, which will supply cancer immunotherapy drug atezolizumab (Tecentriq) and ipatasertib.

Atezolizumab holds US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in select forms of metastatic bladder, lung and breast cancers, while ipatasertib is still in clinical development.

SU2C selection committee chairperson Raymond DuBois said: “We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Genentech to address areas with critical unmet needs.

“The treatments being investigated by these teams have the potential to improve and even save the lives of many patients facing these forms of cancer.”

One of the teams launched by the charity will evaluate the combination of atezolizumab and ipatasertib for its ability to prevent the recurrence of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC).

TNBC patients lack hormone epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2), estrogen receptors (ER) and progesterone receptors (PR), making therapies that target these receptors ineffective.

This cancer type often metastasises to other body parts following initial therapy involving radiation, chemotherapy and/or surgery. The metastatic form of breast cancer currently lacks a cure.

The team will use blood analysis to identify micrometastatic disease prior to it spreading to other organs. The cancer will then be treated with the combination.

The second team will focus on the treatment of hormone-sensitive prostate cancer.

This clinical trial will see hormone therapy with the leuprolide and abiraterone acetate drugs to minimise the production of testosterone, which is known to feed the cancer.

This will be followed by targeted stereotactic body radiation for a shorter duration than conventional radiation therapy. Patients will subsequently receive atezolizumab.