Advanced cases of Cancer are very difficult to treat but sometimes do-able. The alternative answer would be to slow the progression rate; A new drug palbociclib (Ibrance), was recently approved in the US. This drug targets advanced cases of ER-positive breast cancer, with the goal of slowing progression. Knowing how mutations occur and how fast they can spread, helps to understand cancer and treatments.
Compared to another drug, letrozole (Femara), Ibrance doubled patient’s progression-free time. Many patients in the trial found that they typically remained progression-free for slightly over two years. Many tests were run on each of these drugs and overall Ibrance seemed to have much better results. Finn’s team ran tests on patients with advanced breast cancer. They kept up with them for three years and many women on the drug, Letrozole, had seen their cancer spread or passed away. Many on Ibrance remained progression-free for around 25 months. The only negative of this treatment is that it is “temporary” and there are side effects. The side effect is a drop in a certain type of white blood cell; that could lead to serious infection.
Many other drugs are still in the developmental process aiming to stall advanced breast tumors. With this disease becoming more popular every day, the need for treatments is also increasing.