Everolimus plus exemestane is the biggest advance in breast cancer since Herceptin

2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress Breast cancer news 

BOLERO-2-breast-cancer-data-presented-at-2011-Stockholm-Cancer-CongressThere were two noteworthy breast trials with new data at the 2011 ESMO ECCO oncology congress in Stockholm this past weekend:

1) The phase III BOLERO-2 study for everolimus (Afinitor) plus exemestane is according to Sally Church, “probably the biggest single advance in breast since the Herceptin data was announced way back in the 1990’s,” with an improvement in progression free survival (PFS) from 4.1 to 10.6 months, a six and a half month extra benefit.

2) The other trial that returned good solid data was a phase II study that compared T-DM1 to trastuzumab plus docetaxel in women with HER2+ breast cancer who were previously untreated.  The median PFS improved from 9.2 to 14.2 months, an improvement of 5 months before the disease worsened.  The side effect profile, including cardiotoxicity, was also superior in the T-DM1 arm compared to the control arm.  We still need to wait for the phase III results before drawing definitive conclusions on the safety and efficacy of T-DM1, but the results so far are promising.

Although there are multiple therapies are available for the treatment of different types of metastatic breast cancer, many of them sadly only advance progression by a few months at a time, meaning patients must cycle through multiple lines of therapy.

The good news is that these agents are being tested in different patient populations, meaning we will have new and potentially better options for more patients. It is hoped both everolimus and trastuzumab will be approved for breast cancer in the not to distant future.

You can read more about the impressive breast cancer results in the BOLERO-2 study on Pharma Strategy Blog. This data was Sally Church’s HOT NEWS of the Stockholm cancer congress!

Icarus Consultants will be at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) later this year, where we expect more insights and new data in breast cancer new product development.

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