Breast Cancer

When breast cancer recurs or is diagnosed at an advanced stage, treatment is complicated by the diverse nature of the disease, with several molecular subgroups with distinct tumor biology responding differently to different therapies.
Chicago, IL—The PARP inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza) significantly improved progression-free survival (PFS) compared with standard chemotherapy in women with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer with a germline BRCA mutation. Disease progression was delayed by approximately 3 months with olaparib in the multinational, randomized, open-label, phase 3 OlympiAD clinical trial, reported Mark E. Robson, MD, Clinic Director, Clinical Genetics Service, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York City, at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting.
Chicago, IL—The addition of the investigational CDK4/CDK6 inhibitor abemaciclib to fulvestrant (Faslodex) extended progression-free survival (PFS) by 7 months in women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer, reported George W. Sledge, Jr, MD, Professor, Medical Oncology, Stanford University Medical Center, Palo Alto, CA, who presented the results of a large study at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting.
The FDA approved ribociclib, in combination with an aromatase inhibitor, for the treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

Extending aromatase inhibitor therapy with letrozole for an additional 5 years beyond standard treatment with letrozole improved disease-free survival (DFS) and reduced the rate of new contralateral breast cancer in postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Prolonged letrozole did not improve overall survival. These were the main findings of the large MA.17R trial, which were presented at the plenary session at ASCO 2016.

The addition of lapatinib (Tykerb) to trastuzumab (Herceptin) to create dual HER2 blockade was no better than trastuzumab alone in the adjuvant treatment of patients with HER2 breast cancer in the global phase 3 ALTTO (Adjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimisation) trial, reported Martine J. Piccart-Gebhart, MD, PhD, Chair, Breast International Group, Brussels, Belgium, at a plenary session at ASCO 2014.
In patients with breast cancer and bone metastasis, less frequent in­fusion of zoledronic acid was as effective as the standard monthly dose in the randomized OPTIMIZE-2 study.
Adjuvant exemestane is more effective at preventing breast cancer recurrences than ta­moxifen when given with ovarian function suppression (OFS) in young women with hormone receptor–­positive early breast cancer, reported Olivia Pagani, MD, Clinical Director, Breast Unit, Oncology Institute of Southern Switzerland, Bellinzona, during ASCO 2014.

Chicago, IL—Updated data confirm that 10 years of adjuvant tamoxifen is superior to 5 years in reducing the rates of late recurrence and death in women with estrogen receptor (ER)-­positive breast cancer, reported Richard G. Gray, MA, MSc, Professor of Medical Statistics, University of Oxford, United Kingdom.

Chicago, IL—The media darling at ASCO 2012 was a novel agent some called a “smart bomb,” because of its highly targeted and potent effect that spares surrounding healthy tissue.

Trastuzumab emtansine, better known as T-DM1, the antibody-drug conjugate linking trastuzumab to a cytotoxic agent, delivers its punch directly into the tumor of patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and this agent is associated with little toxicity. T-DM1 is one of an entirely new class of agents that could have a major impact on the disease.

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