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Posted by on Jun 13, 2021 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study evaluated the association between patient-reported outcomes (PROs) and survival outcomes in patients with hormone receptor-positive (HR+)/HER2-negative (HER2-) advanced breast cancer (BC) treated with abemaciclib (Verzenio). The data showed that the PROs could be a predictor of survival benefits in these patients.

Some background

BC is classified into different subtypes depending on the presence or absence of certain receptors (proteins) found on the surface of the cancer cells. HR+ and HER2- BC is a subtype that tests positive for female sex hormone receptors (such as estrogen and progesterone) and negative for the HER2 protein. This type of cancer accounts for 70% of all BCs. Patients with this subtype of BC commonly receive hormone therapy (HT) which acts by decreasing the female hormone estrogen.

Abemaciclib is a biological therapy that targets certain proteins involved in the cell cycle. This slows the rate of cancerous cells spreading. Previous studies have shown that abemaciclib combined with HT improves the outcomes of patients with HR+/HER2- advanced BC.

Effectiveness and safety are the main factors when choosing a treatment option. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) are also important during and after treatment and should be taken into consideration. PROs measure important factors such as physical function, pain, and quality of life of patients. However, there are very few studies evaluating the association between PROs and survival outcomes in patients with HR+/HER2- advanced BC treated with abemaciclib.

Methods & findings

This study analyzed the data from 3 studies that involved 1284 women with HR+/HER2- advanced BC. 900 patients received abemaciclib and 384 patients received placebo or other treatments. The average follow-up time was 22 months.

PROs (physical function, pain, fatigue, loss of appetite) were significantly associated with survival without cancer worsening in patients treated with abemaciclib compared to placebo. Patients treated with abemaciclib and with low physical function before treatment were less likely to benefit from abemaciclib treatment compared to those with high physical functioning. The benefit of abemaciclib compared to control groups on survival without cancer worsening was 25% in those with low physical functioning compared to 52% in those treated with intermediate or high physical functioning.  

The bottom line

This study concluded that PROs, particularly physical functioning could predict survival benefits in patients with HR+/HER2- advanced BC treated with abemaciclib.

The fine print

This study looked back in time at medical records. Further studies are needed before drawing any conclusions.

Published By :

The Oncologist

Date :

Apr 29, 2021

Original Title :

Patient-reported outcomes predict progression-free survival of patients with advanced breast cancer treated with abemaciclib.

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