Dr. Herbst is committed to maintaining Yale’s status as one of the world's top centers for cancer research and patient care, through innovative programs at the cutting edge of science and clinical practice. For example, we have a facility to investigate a patient's cancer at the molecular level giving us key molecular data that our oncologists use to pursue the most promising treatments for our patients as early as possible in the course of their disease.
His work on "umbrella” trials has galvanized the field of targeted therapy and cancer drug approvals at the FDA. Nationally, he works closely with public-private partnerships to develop large master protocol clinical studies. He was co-leader for the BATTLE-1 clinical trial program, co-leads the subsequent BATTLE-2 clinical trial program. and is principal investigator (PI) of the Lung Master Protocol (Lung-MAP). These trials use molecular analysis of fresh tissue biopsies to help match patients to the best novel treatment in real time, and these results provide laboratory scientists the ability to explore and uncover potential resistance mechanisms in the clinic.
Over several decades, biomarkers have been identified that help clinicians target treatment and immunotherapies for patients with corresponding genetic mutations. Dr. Herbst has led teams that brought about the approval of several therapies (such as gefitinib, cetuximab, bevacizumab, axitinib), which have revolutionized the field and greatly enhanced patient survival. He and his Yale colleagues were among the first to describe the PD-1/PD-L1 adaptive immune response in early phase trials and to offer trials of PD-L1 inhibitors atezolizumab and pembrolizumab to lung cancer patients. His leadership in targeted therapeutics resulted in a 2020 ASCO plenary talk and publication of results of the third-generation EGFR-inhibitor osimertinib for the treatment of resected EGFR-mutant NSCLC in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Specialized Terms: Early phase clinical trials; Biomarker studies; Personalized medicine for cancer treatment. Immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer.
Lung Neoplasms; Medical Oncology; Thoracic Neoplasms; Clinical Trials, Phase I as Topic; Biomarkers, Pharmacological; Precision Medicine