FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 (HealthDay News) — In women with advanced hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative breast cancer, treatment with a combination of everolimus and fulvestrant appears to improve progression-free survival — from about five months to 10, according to findings presented at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held from Dec. 6 to 10 in Texas.
The study included 130 postmenopausal women with metastatic breast cancer. Their average age was 61. All had developed resistance to aromatase inhibitors. For the study, all the women were taking fulvestrant. Half were also given a placebo; the other half were also given everolimus.
On average, cancer didn’t recur in the women on the new regimen for 10 months. But for those taking fulvestrant and a placebo, cancer returned in an average of five months, the researchers found. Grade 3/4 adverse events were more common in the group taking the new drug combination: 53 percent of those assigned everolimus had a grade 3 adverse event compared with 23 percent of those assigned placebo.
“The rates of grade 3/4 adverse events in our study are very similar to those found in earlier studies evaluating combination therapies containing everolimus,” study leader Noah Kornblum, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research. “It is important for patients and clinicians to be aware of these potential complications, to try to identify them early, and to learn ways to manage them.”
The study was funded by Novartis, the manufacturer of everolimus.
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