New Breast Cancer Treatments Appear on the Horizon

August 21, 2019
“Good news from world leading cancer experts signals new hope for breast cancer patients”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of alpelisib in combination with fulvestrant, a hormonal therapy drug, for advanced and metastatic breast cancer patients.
This combination increases the effectiveness of treatment for patients with the PIK3CA-mutated cancer cells. The FDA also approved the companion diagnostic therascreen to detect PIK3CA mutation in blood and tissue samples as well, giving physicians even greater reach in cancer treatment.

It was revealed at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual conference—the world’s largest conference on cancer—on May 24 2019 that using alpelisib in combination with fulvestrant can slow the spread of cancer cells in breast cancer patients with almost doubling progression free period of just fulvestrant by itself.

Research findings encouraging the use of ribociclib in combination with hormonal therapy drugs were also unveiled at the conference. Intended for pre-menopausal patients with advanced or metastatic breast cancer, ribociclib was found to increase survival chances by nearly 50% when compared to treatment by hormonal therapy alone. This has greatly increased the number of patients who stand to benefit from this type of treatment, since it was previously deemed suitable for only post-menopausal patients.

However, the FDA has cautioned that alpelisib is not suitable for patients with a history of severe skin disorders, such as Steven-Johnson syndrome, Erythema multiforme (EM), or Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN).

The approval by the U.S. FDA of alpelisib in combination with fulvestrant and the companion diagnostic therascreen, along with the latest developments on the use of ribociclib in combination with hormonal therapy in younger patients than previously permitted is very positive news. Based upon the success of this combination of treatments, the Health Authority in other countries will likely be using this treatment plan for the foreseeable future. There is now new hope for breast cancer patients worldwide to live longer, with a better quality of life.
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