First Trial of Three Aromatase Inhibitors: Similar Efficacy, Safety

Excerpt:

“The first-ever direct comparison of three adjuvant aromatase inhibitors for the treatment of postmenopausal hormone receptor–positive early breast cancer shows no significant differences in clinical efficacy or safety, according to an Italian research team.

“In the randomized, open-label phase 3 FATA-GIM3 trial of almost 3700 women, the 5-year disease-free survival for patients treated with anastrozole (Arimidex, Novartis), exemestane (Aromasin, Pfizer), or letrozole (Femara, Novartis) was 90.0%, 88.0% and 89.4%, respectively.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


Ribociclib Active Across Premenopausal Breast Cancer Subgroups

Excerpt:

“The progression-free survival (PFS) benefit for ribociclib (Kisqali) in pre- or perimenopausal women with hormone receptor–positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer was sustained across patient subgroups, according to findings from the phase III MONALEESA-7 trial presented at the 2018 Miami Breast Cancer Conference.

“MONALEESA-7 randomized patients to either the CDK4/6 inhibitor ribociclib in combination with tamoxifen or a nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitor (NSAI; letrozole or anastrozole) plus goserelin (n = 335), or to endocrine treatment plus goserelin (n = 337). Across the overall study population, the median PFS was 23.8 months for the ribociclib arm compared with 13.0 months for the control arm (HR, 0.553; 95% CI, 0.441-0.694; P <.0001).”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


FAQs After Diagnosis: Early Stage Hormone-Positive Breast Cancer


This post is written by ASK Cancer Commons Scientist and Product Team Member Amanda Nottke, PhD. Dr. Nottke regularly provides guidance to patients through our ASK Cancer Commons service.

After a diagnosis of early stage, hormone-positive breast cancer, you may find yourself facing several daunting decisions, such as choosing between the extensive surgery of mastectomy versus a more minor lumpectomy procedure paired with radiation (with all its challenging side effects). And once surgery is complete, what next? Hormone therapy is clearly indicated for many women, but which drug, and how long to take it? And what about chemo—how to know if the tough side effects are worth the possible reduction in risk of recurrence?

Fortunately, there are a wealth of quality datasets available to inform these decisions. Below are some of the questions we get most frequently from patients using our ASK Cancer Commons service, answered according to the latest thinking from scientific literature and our expert physician network. If you are facing your own cancer treatment decisions and would like free one-one-one expert support, please submit your case here.

1. If my doctor has said either mastectomy or lumpectomy plus radiation are appropriate for me, how do I choose?

Many studies have looked at this, and overall the outcomes for mastectomy versus lumpectomy plus radiation are extremely similar (both are effective treatments, so you can instead weigh the side effects of radiation versus the more intensive surgery of the mastectomy). This webpage provides a helpful summary of the pros and cons of mastectomy compared to lumpectomy. Continue reading…


Fulvestrant Prolongs PFS for Women with Hormone Receptor– Positive Advanced Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Fulvestrant prolonged PFS compared with anastrozole among women with hormone receptor– positive locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer who have not received previous endocrine therapy, according to a phase 3, randomized, double blind trial published in The Lancet.

” ‘The primary endpoint of this phase 3 study was met, with patients receiving fulvestrant having a significantly longer PFS than patients receiving anastrozole,’ John F.R. Robertson, MD, a professor at University of Nottingham Medical School and Royal Derby Hospital Centre in Derby, United Kingdom, and colleagues wrote. ‘This represents a meaningful and relevant finding for which clinical data are limited.’ ”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


Neoadjuvant Abemaciclib Active in HR+/HER2- Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“A neoadjuvant regimen combining the CDK4/6 inhibitor abemaciclib with anastrozole induced a response rate of 54.7% in patients with HR+/HER2-negative early-stage breast cancer, according to findings from the phase II neoMONARCH trial presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

“The study also met its primary endpoint of reduction in Ki67 expression level at week 2. The abemaciclib combination yielded a geometric mean change in Ki67 from baseline to day 15 of -92.6%.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


Fulvestrant Bests Anastrozole in Phase III Breast Cancer Study

Excerpt:

“First-line treatment with fulvestrant (Faslodex) led to significantly better progression-free survival (PFS) compared with anastrozole for patients with hormone receptor (HR)-positive advanced breast cancer, according to findings from the phase III FALCON trial reported at the 2016 ESMO Congress.

“Confirming results of an earlier phase II study, the FALCON trial yielded a median PFS of 16.6 months with fulvestrant versus 13.8 months with anastrozole. Moreover, a consistent advantage favoring fulvestrant emerged from a subgroup analysis. The overall advantage appeared to be driven by a substantial difference in PFS among patients without visceral metastases treated with fulvestrant.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Lifeline service.


Abemaciclib Effective for Ki67 Reduction in Certain Postmenopausal Women with Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Neoadjuvant abemaciclib with or without anastrozole led to significantly greater reductions in tissue Ki67 after 2 weeks of treatment than anastrozole alone among postmenopausal women with hormone receptor–positive, HER-2–negative breast cancer, according to interim phase 2 study results presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress.”

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If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Lifeline service.


Two Drugs Equal For Early Breast Cancer

“Postmenopausal women who have an early, noninvasive form of breast cancer had similar recurrence rates of disease whether they took the drug tamoxifen or the aromatase inhibitor anastrozole after surgery, new research shows.

“However, the side effects of the two medications differed greatly, said study author Jack Cuzick, director of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, England.

“His team looked at nearly 3,000 women, all past menopause, who had hormone-receptor positive ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) breast cancer and underwent surgery to excise it. With DCIS, the cells that line the milk ducts have changed but not spread into the surrounding breast tissue.”


Study Finds Safer Drug to Prevent Return of Breast Cancer

“Women diagnosed with a common type of breast cancer now have a more effective, safer drug for follow-up care intended to prevent the disease from returning or spreading, according to a national study that involved Pittsburgh doctors and patients.

“The study, released Saturday, found that anastrozole was more effective than tamoxifen, the medication of choice for the past 10 or 15 years, to prevent additional episodes of cancer in post-menopausal women already treated for the ductal cancer known as DCIS. The study was described as the first to compare the medications’ use in patients with DCIS.

“ ‘The bottom line is that this changes the way we treat’ DCIS, said Adam Brufsky, a study co-author and co-director of UPMC’s Comprehensive Breast Cancer Center.

“The study ‘has tremendous merit,’ said Thomas Julian, division director of breast surgical oncology for the Allegheny Health Network, noting as many as 50,000 women are diagnosed with DCIS each year. The drug especially benefited women younger than 60, he said.”