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Metastatic Breast Cancer: Palbociclib Yields Encouraging Results in Phase 2 Trial — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
April 7, 2014

Metastatic Breast Cancer: Palbociclib Yields Encouraging Results in Phase 2 Trial

By Joe Elia

Palbociclib, a kinase inhibitor, doubles the time to progression or death in metastatic breast cancer; overall survival is not significantly improved, however. The results were reported over the weekend at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

In the phase 2 trial, 165 women with metastatic cancer were randomized to receive either letrozole alone or letrozole plus palbociclib. Investigator-assessed progression-free survival favored those receiving palbociclib — 20 months versus 10 months. In addition, overall survival time was longer in the palbociclib group (38 vs. 33 months), although this did not achieve statistical significance.

"Most of us who do breast cancer are very excited by this," one specialist told the New York Times. Another physician, however, said the small trial was not the type that would generally lead to a change in practice. The drug's manufacturer is in discussions with the FDA but has not yet decided whether to seek early approval, the Times reports.

Reader Comments (1)

ashori, MD Physician, Family Medicine/General Practice

increased time to progression or death should be weighed to quality of life. if side effects are similar to other chemotherapeutic drugs then it may serve a purpose. but especially since statistical significance wasn't reached it may be yet another chemo drug. I would have liked to hear a short sentence on how this may compare to another medication as far as the quality of life a patient would have on it.

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