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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Mar 15, 2019


The FDA now announces approval of a new immunotherapy agent for treatment of so-called triple negative breast cancer that is either locally advanced or has already spread to other body organs.  Triple negative breast cancer, notoriously difficult to treat, has cells that lack any of the three cell receptors which facilitate the effectiveness of traditional hormonal- and chemo- therapy.  

The drug is the checkpoint inhibitor atezolizmumab, branded as Tecentriq by Genentech.  It received an accelerated thumbs up by the FDA on a compassionate basis.  It must be used in conjunction with the chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel.

Preliminary studies of this combo therapy demonstrated that breast cancer patients whose tumors lack estrogen, progesterone, and growth factor receptors but do have the PD-L1 receptor and therefore were eligible for immunotherapy plus chemotherapy lived 60% longer than those treated with chemotherapy alone.

As these results are only preliminary but very promising.  If you or someone you know has advanced breast cancer, suggest that they ask their oncologist about Tecentriq.

#BreastCA #triplenegative #immunotherapy #atezolizmumab #Tecentriq #PD-L1