TUESDAY, June 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — For premenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, advanced breast cancer, adding ribociclib to standard-of-care endocrine therapy is associated with improved overall survival, according to a study published online June 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The research was published to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, held from May 31 to June 4 in Chicago.

Sara A. Hurvitz, M.D., from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues randomly assigned 672 women aged 59 years or younger who were premenopausal or perimenopausal and had advanced breast cancer to receive either ribociclib or placebo in addition to endocrine therapy. Patients were followed for a median of 34.6 months. A previous study had demonstrated significantly longer progression-free survival in the ribociclib group; this study presented results for overall survival.

The researchers found that patients receiving ribociclib demonstrated a significantly longer overall survival than those receiving placebo (median, not reached versus 40.9 months; hazard ratio, 0.71). At 42 months, the estimated overall survival rates were 70.2 percent in the ribociclib group and 46.0 percent in the placebo group.

“This is the first study to show improved survival for any targeted therapy when used with endocrine therapy as a first-line treatment for advanced breast cancer,” Hurvitz said in a statement. “The use of ribociclib as a front-line therapy significantly prolonged overall survival, which is good news for women with this terrible disease.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis, which manufactures ribociclib and funded the study.

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