In a nutshell
This study wanted to find out if treating breast cancer with everolimus (Afintor) and endocrine therapy is better than only treating with endocrine therapy. The study found that using everolimus in addition to endocrine therapy had a significant benefit to survival in these patients.
Breast cancer is classified into types based on the receptors that are expressed by the tumor. Cancer cells that have the estrogen receptor on them are called ER+, and cancer cells that have the progesterone receptor on them are called PR+. Together, these are called the hormone receptors, and a cancer cell that has both of these is called hormone receptor positive, or HR+. Cancer with these kinds of receptors can be targeted using endocrine therapy. The other receptor that cancer cells can have on them is called Herceptin 2 receptor, or HER2. Breast cancer cells can be HER2+ or HER2-. The type of receptors present on cancer cells will affect the type of treatment used. It is not known if adding everolimus to endocrine treatment will improve outcomes in patients with HR+ HER2- breast cancer.
Methods & findings
This study consisted of 1527 patients. It looked at 7 different trials across a number of different countries. All the patients had advanced breast cancer.
The study found that overall, the addition of everolimus to endocrine treatment for breast cancer was positive. The time it took for the cancer to progress or grow was longer in the patients who were treated with everolimus. The authors found a 52% higher chance of a better survival without cancer progression with everolimus and endocrine therapy compared to endocrine therapy alone.
The number of patients who responded to treatment was higher in the group who were treated with everolimus. Side effects of everolimus included rash, tiredness, cough, shortness of breath, and decreased appetite.
The bottom line
The study concluded that adding everolimus to endocrine therapy in patients with advanced breast cancer was beneficial.
The fine print
This is a very large study. The results are likely to be true, as they looked at a number of different smaller studies, and combined their results.
Discuss your treatment plan with your oncologist, and see if adding everolimus to your plan might be right for you.
Published By :
Current problems in cancer
Sep 07, 2018
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