Health Care

New Breast Cancer Drug Shows Promising Results Among Young Women

New Breast Cancer Drug Shows Promising Results Among Young Women”

Last Updated: June 02, 2019.

The study is the first to show a significant benefit in survival for premenopausal women with metastatic hormone-receptor positive breast cancer, according to lead author Dr. Sara Hurvitz, who directs the Breast Cancer Clinical Research Program at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Two drugs that interfere with cancer's ability to use testosterone for fuel, apalutamide (Erleada) and enzalutamide (Xtandi), are already approved for use against more advanced prostate tumors that don't respond to regular therapy.

Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London said the "liquid biopsy" can detect genetic changes in the tumours of patients and indicate if they are less likely to respond to a new targeted drug. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women, impacting 2.1 million women each year, and also causes the highest number of cancer-related deaths among women - 6,27,000 or 15% in 2018.

"This is the first study to show improved survival for any targeted therapy when used with endocrine therapy as a first-line treatment for advanced breast cancer".

The second trial involved adding enzalutamide to androgen-deprivation therapy, and again positive results were found.

After 42 months, 70% of those treated with the combination therapy were still alive, compared to 46% of those who only received hormone therapy.

Study co-chair Ian Davis is a professor at Monash University in Australia.

"This is indescribably good news for patients and their families", said Lady Delyth Morgan, the chief executive at Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now. Findings from the Translational-aTTom study (Trans-aTTom) led by an global team of cancer researchers strengthen BCI clinical evidence as a predictive biomarker and highlight its utility in helping physicians determine 5 vs. 10-year endocrine treatment plans for their patients.

"We don't yet have any data to compare these drugs side-to-side". "We've never had a lot of satisfying data to help us figure out what is the proper sequence, is there an optimal sequence, should we be combining certain drugs to get a better effect?" She also expressed interest in whether or not the drug could stop cancer from metastasizing. "These are really expensive drugs", Liaw said. The cost of the drug is around Rs 50,000-60,000 per month and the duration varies from patient to patient.

The Trans-aTTom study to date includes 1,822 patients treated in the aTTom trial, which randomized almost 7,000 HR+ women to either stop or continue tamoxifen for 5 more years after completing at least 4 years of endocrine therapy.

"It's great to see that we're extending the length of someone's life, not just the length of time their disease is controlled", Hurvitz said.

The American Cancer Society has more about treating prostate cancer.

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