In a nutshell
This study looked at the effectiveness and safety of a combination of two cancer drugs, everolimus (Afinitor) and exemestane (Aromasin), in women after menopause with advanced breast cancer. The authors found that these drugs were safe and effective in the treatment of these women.
Breast cancer is treated differently depending on the type of hormone receptors (HR/HER2) found on the tumor. Endocrine therapy (using drugs that work on hormone receptors) for HR+/HER2- breast cancer patients is usually effective. Over time, this can become unresponsive to treatment. It is important to research new drugs which may be safe and effective to treat these patients with breast cancer.
Methods & findings
This study recruited 299 women with HR+/HER2- advanced or metastatic (spreading to other areas) breast cancer. All of these patients had become unresponsive to previous cancer treatments. The women were all post-menopausal (gone through the menopause). The patients received everolimus and exemestane every day for 48 weeks. 123 completed up to 24 weeks. 36 patients finished the course of treatment up to 48 weeks. Researchers looked at response rates to treatment over time.
Of all the patients, 25 (8.9%), had a response to the drug combination after 24 weeks. Side effects of treatment included mouth inflammation (8.4%), poor general health (6.7%), shortness of breath (4.7%) and anaemia (low red blood cells – 4.3%)
The bottom line
The study concluded that everolimus plus exemestane was an effective and safe treatment plan for women after menopause, with breast cancer.
The fine print
This trial did not have a control, or something to be compared with. This was for ethical reasons.
Further study needs to be done into this drug combination before it can be used as a general treatment.
Published By :
International Journal of Cancer
Jul 11, 2018
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