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Posted by on Dec 23, 2017 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study aimed to determine the effectiveness and safety of ribociclib (Kisqali) combined with a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor in elderly patients with hormone receptor positive and HER-2 negative breast cancer. This study concluded that ribociclib improved progression free survival and was relatively safe to use as a first line treatment.

Some background

There are several treatment options for hormone positive, HER-2 negative advanced breast cancer (dependent on hormones such as estrogen for growth). Non-steroidal aromatase inhibitors (such as letrozole) are commonly used. These act by decreasing the hormone estrogen. However, new treatments are also being developed. 

Ribociclib is an inhibitor of the proteins cyclin D1/CDK4 and CDK6. They are important in regulating the cell cycle and cell growth. Blocking these proteins has shown to slow the growth of hormone positive breast cancer. 

Methods & findings

This study aimed to examine the effectiveness of ribociclib combined with letrozole. This study included 668 patients. 295 of these patients were over the age of 65. Patients were randomly assigned to treatment with ribociclib and letrozole, or letrozole alone.

Ribociclib decreased the risk of disease progression by 39% in patients older than 65. It decreased the risk of progression by 48% in patients younger than 65. 

Ribociclib and letrozole had similar side effects in both younger and older age groups. Nausea, vomiting, hair loss and diarrhea were 10% more common in the group taking ribociclib

The bottom line

This study concluded that ribociclib and letrozole improved progression free survival versus letrozole alone for patients with hormone positive, HER-2 negative breast cancer. 

The fine print

This study is funded by Novartis Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the medication riboiciclib.

Published By :

Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

Date :

Oct 22, 2017

Original Title :

Ribociclib with letrozole vs letrozole alone in elderly patients with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer in the randomized MONALEESA-2 trial.

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