The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting of 2016 is behind us, but oncologists, patients, and journalists are still analyzing the most interesting presentations made there. Below, we describe some of the more prominent results in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), both promising and disappointing.
“The molecularly targeted therapeutic palbociclib (Ibrance), which is used to treat advanced breast cancer, was effective in slowing the multiplication of cancer cells in patients diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer who received no prior therapy, according to data from a phase II clinical trial presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016, April 16-20.
” ‘The use of targeted therapies has been increasing in the last few years. It is crucial to determine that these drugs do hold activity against tumor cells,’ said the study’s lead author, Monica Arnedos, MD, an assistant professor at Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus in Villejuif, France. ‘In the case of palbociclib, no predictive biomarkers have been identified to date, and there are still no data about its potential efficacy in the early setting.’ ”
“Palbociclib, an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDK) 4 and 6, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February 2015 for use in combination with the anti-estrogen therapeutic letrozole for treating postmenopausal women with a specific subtype of breast cancer: estrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative, metastatic breast cancer.”
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“Data collected in Japanese and Korean patients included in the global PALOMA3 trial provides evidence that combining palbociclib with fulvestrant is an effective strategy to overcome endocrine resistance in women with hormone receptor positive (HR+), HER2 negative (HER2-) advanced breast cancer. The analysis of efficacy and safety of the combined therapy in an Asian population will be presented (1) at the first ESMO Asia 2015 Congress in Singapore, and results are in line with those reported in all patients (both Asian and non-Asian) earlier this year.
“Endocrine resistance is a major clinical issue that makes advanced breast cancer more difficult to treat. Hormone therapy is generally well tolerated and an easy-to-administer option for breast cancer, with demonstrated benefits in patients whose tumours express hormone receptors (HR), particularly the HR+/HER2- subgroup. The ideal option for patients is to be on one endocrine therapy after another, as long as the disease responds or remains unchanged. ‘However, unavoidably, resistance develops in almost all advanced patients a median ten months after the first-line hormonal agent is administered, and a much shorter median time after the second- or third-line hormonal agents, eventually driving patients to switch to the more toxic chemotherapy,’ one of the study authors, Dr. Jungsil Ro, Center for Breast Cancer at the National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea, said.”