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Posted by on Mar 1, 2019 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study wanted to find out which of three medicines was best for treating breast cancer, palbociclib (Ibrance), ribociclib (Kisquali), or abemaciclib (Verzenio). The study found that the medications all worked equally as well, but there were different side effects for each one.

Some background

Estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer is when the cancer cells display a receptor for a specific type of hormone on their surface. It is possible to use medicines which target these receptors to kill the cancer cells. A new group of medicines are being used to treat ER+ breast cancer.  These are called CDK inhibitors. Three of these that are being used are called palbociclib, ribociclib, and abemaciclib. It is known that all of these medications work. It is not known if one works better than the others.

Methods & findings

This study consisted of 3743 patients. There were six trials overall, and the information was combined from these trials. All of these patients had advanced ER+ breast cancer. The patients were all treated with one of palbociclib, ribociclib, or abemaciclib.

Overall, the amount of time before the cancer grew was the same in all patients, regardless of treatment. In 58% of patients treated with palbociclib, the cancer grew after treatment stopped. In 56% of patients treated with ribociclib, the cancer grew after treatment stopped. In 54% of patients treated with abemaciclib, the cancer grew after treatment stopped, Overall, the patients all responded to treatment at the same rate. 42.1% of the patients treated with palbociclib responded to the treatment. 40.7% of the patients treated with ribociclb responded to the treatment. 48.1% of the patients treated with abemaciclib responded to the treatment. There were some side effects that occured in all the treatments. These included decreased white blood cells, decreased red blood cells, issues with the liver, and diarrhea. The patients treated with palbociclib had a decreased chance of having diarrhea occur compared to the patients treated with abemaciclib.

The bottom line

The study concluded that, while side-effects varied slightly, treatment with palbociclib, ribociclib, and abemaciclib resulted in the same outcomes for women with ER+ breast cancer.

The fine print

This is a large study, and the first to compare these three medications.

What’s next?

Talk to your oncologist about your treatment plan.

Published By :

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

Date :

Jan 18, 2019

Original Title :

Comparative efficacy of palbociclib, ribociclib and abemaciclib for ER+ metastatic breast cancer: an adjusted indirect analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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