Ibrance ~ A new treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
~ Dr. Saritha Ravella
Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. As per the National Cancer Institute, it is estimated that 232,670 American women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014. With new advances in treatment options, the chance of survival will be significantly increased.
In Feb 2015, a new drug called Palbociclib (Ibrance: prounouciation:'EYE-brans') has been added to the armamentarium (medicines available to medical practitioners) used in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.
Palbociclib is a pill that can be used in combination with Letrozole (an Aromatase inhibitor pill) to treat newly diagnosed post-menopausal women with Estrogen receptor (ER) positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced breast cancer who have not received a prior endocrine-based therapy. Ibrance inhibits CDK-4 and CDK-6 ( cyclin-depenedent kinases) and interrupt the cell cycle. This will result in cancer cell death.
The drug was studied in 165 postmenopausal women with advanced ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, who have not received any kind of prior treatment. Patients were randomly assigned to Ibrance in combination with letrozole or letrozole alone. Patients treated with Ibrance plus letrozole lived about 20.2 months without their disease progressing (progression-free survival), compared to about 10.2 months seen in patients receiving letrozole alone.
Information on overall survival is not available at this time and is being studied in an ongoing confirmatory trial. CLICK HERE to learn more about Ibrance.