New therapy improves progression-free survival in advanced breast cancer

11 October 2016

A new study has demonstrated how a new breast cancer drug called fulvestrant can help to improve progression-free survival rates for women with advanced forms of the disease.

Presented at the annual congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology, the study showed how the selective oestrogen receptor degrader can offer numerous benefits for women with hormone-receptor-positive advanced breast cancer, particularly those with less aggressive lower-volume disease.

In this study, 230 patients received 500 mg intramuscular injections of fulvestrant or one mg of anastrozole daily, and were also allowed one line of chemotherapy. Patients treated with fulvestrant showed a 21 per cent improvement in progression-free survival compared to those treated with anastrozole.

An even greater impact on progression-free survival was seen in patients whose disease had not spread to the liver or lungs at baseline.

Dr Matthew Ellis from the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine said: "In patients for whom you are looking for a low toxicity approach, such as older patients or those with low-volume disease, it looks like a good option."

Since this new therapy targets the function of the hormone receptor, it does not interfere normal oestrogen levels, unlike aromatase inhibitors such as anastrozole.

Posted by Philip Briggs


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