Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New hope for advanced post-menopausal breast cancer patients resistant to hormonal therapy

26.09.2011
Results from a phase III clinical trial have shown that combining two existing cancer drugs to treat post-menopausal women with advanced breast cancer resistant to hormonal therapy significantly improves outcome.

Researchers told the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress [1] that women treated with a combination of everolimus and exemestane had an improved progression-free survival of nearly seven months compared to women who were treated only with exemestane.

Trial leader, Professor José Baselga from the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston (USA), will tell the meeting: "These results are impressive and, potentially, could represent a new therapeutic option for women with advanced post-menopausal breast cancer who have previously been treated with hormonal therapy."

The hormone oestrogen promotes the growth of about two thirds of breast cancers, and hormonal therapies such as exemestane, which block the effect of oestrogen or reduce oestrogen levels, are used to treat these hormone receptor-positive breast cancers. However, many breast cancer patients and nearly all patients with advanced breast cancer that has spread (metastasised) to other parts of the body become resistant to hormonal therapy. "When patients stop responding to hormonal therapy, the benefits from any secondary therapy are limited," says Prof. Baselga.

Exemestane is currently used to treat women who have metastatic breast cancer and women whose breast cancer has returned after initial treatment. It is also used to treat women with early breast cancer after they have completed two or three years of treatment with another hormonal therapy, tamoxifen.

Everolimus is an established treatment for recurrent, advanced kidney cancer and researchers are now looking at its use in other cancers. Phase II trials involving patients with advanced cancer driven by oestrogen receptor-positive advanced breast cancer have been promising when everolimus is used on its own or in combination with hormonal therapy. In order to follow this up, the phase III clinical trial BOLERO 2 was set up to investigate the efficacy of everolimus in patients who have become resistant to aromatase inhibitors – drugs that decrease the amount of oestrogen produced and help to slow or reverse the growth of the cancer.

The multi-national trial was conducted with 724 patients in 24 countries, with an average age of 62. All patients had been treated previously with the aromatase inhibitors letrozole or anastrozole. Earlier treatments also included tamoxifen (48% of patients), fulvestrant (16% of patients) and chemotherapy (68% of patients).

A group of 485 patients was randomised to receive everolimus and exemestane, while 239 received only exemestane until the disease progressed or unacceptable levels of toxicity were recorded. The trial was stopped early after an interim analysis revealed that further tumour growth did not occur for nearly 11 months in patients who received everolimus, whereas patients receiving only exemestane had progression-free survival for approximately four months.

Prof Baselga says: "This is a highly significant improvement in the time to disease progression in a patient population that is highly resistant to therapy."

Trial sponsor Novartis plans to file worldwide regulatory submissions for everolimus as a treatment for oestrogen receptor-positive, advanced breast cancer by the end of 2011.

Abstract no: 9LBA. Presidential session III, Monday 26 September, 12.15 hrs (CEST), Hall A1.

[1] The 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress is the 16th congress of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO), the 36th congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) and the 30th congress of European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ESTRO).

[2] The BOLERO 2 phase III trial was funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Saffina Rana | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ecco-org.eu/en

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance
25.09.2017 | Institut Pasteur

nachricht MRI contrast agent locates and distinguishes aggressive from slow-growing breast cancer
25.09.2017 | Case Western Reserve University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nerves control the body’s bacterial community

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Four elements make 2-D optical platform

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>