Drug Prolongs Survival for Some with Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“A drug called Xeloda can extend the lives of some women whose breast cancer is not wiped out by standard treatment, a new clinical trial finds.

“Oncologists said the results are ‘practice-changing.’

” ‘This drug is already approved, and we’ve been using it for a long time in cancer treatment,’ said Dr. Stephen Malamud, an oncologist at Mount Sinai in New York City.

“Xeloda (capecitabine) is a pill, so it’s easy to take and is ‘much less toxic’ than standard chemotherapy, noted Malamud, who was not involved in the new research.”

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Breast Cancer Drugs Battle Disease's Return

“A pair of drugs already on the market appear to reduce the recurrence of breast cancer in women who’ve already undergone treatment, two new clinical trials show.

“The chemotherapy drug capecitabine (Xeloda) seems to reduce by nearly a third the risk of breast cancer recurrence if women receive the drug following surgery to remove their cancer, researchers were to report Wednesday at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

“In addition, an osteoporosis medication called denosumab appears to reduce recurrence risk by 18 percent in women who have HR-positive breast cancer, a second study reports.”


Video: Dr. Erika P. Hamilton on ONT-380 in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Patients With Brain Metastases

Erika P. Hamilton, MD, associate director, Breast Cancer and Gynecologic Cancer Research Program, principal investigator, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, on ONT-380 for HER2-positive breast cancer and the treatment’s ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Hamilton says the reason ONT-380’s ability to cross that barrier is important is because patients with HER2-positive breast cancer have a predilection to develop brain metastases.

She added that ONT-380 was proven to be effective when combined with capecitabine (Xeloda) and trastuzumab (Herceptin), though sometimes a combination of all three proved most useful. ONT-380 is a HER2-specific inhibitor and showed promising results when tested in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer who had previously received trastuzumab and T-DM1.

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Roche Says Avastin Prolongs Life in Breast Cancer Study

“Swiss drugmaker Roche said its cancer drug Avastin helped women with a common form of breast cancer live longer without their disease worsening, when used in combination with chemotherapy drug Xeloda.

“Results of a Phase III study involving 185 patients with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer found those treated with both drugs saw an almost threefold improvement in how long they lived without their disease getting worse compared with those taking Avastin alone.

“A second late-stage trial with 494 patients who continued treatment with Avastin and standard chemotherapy after their disease had progressed showed patients lived significantly longer without the disease getting worse compared with those treated only with chemotherapy.”

Learn more about clinical trials—research studies with volunteer patients.