New positive data for Kisqali combination in advanced breast cancer

Dutch cancer survival rates have risen sharply since the 1960s

Fehrenbacher presented results of the NASBP-B-47 trial at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), held December 5-9.

Novartis is looking for an expanded combination therapy label for its Kisqali after a trial showed it halts progression of an aggressive kind of breast cancer in younger women for longer than standard drugs. "By controlling side effects and keeping patients on their medication, we may be able to improve breast cancer outcomes". "A significant amount of preclinical and correlative clinical data suggest that such cases could be amenable to immunotherapy".

Estimate the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and determine the recommended dose (RP2D) of utomilumab in combination with ado-rastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) or trastuzumab in subjects with HER2 positive advanced breast cancer.

A total of 58 patients were included in the study, which met its primary objective. "Moreover, the quantification of TILs seems to be a meaningful way for us to identify those who would benefit most from an immunotherapeutic approach".

Hershman's team wondered if the ancient practice of acupuncture might help. The BPI is a self-administered 14-item questionnaire created to assess pain on a scale from zero to 10, where higher scores indicate more pain.

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After six weeks, patients in the true acupuncture group reported much lower pain scores than those in either the fake acupuncture or waiting list groups, Hershman's team reported.

The patients in the true and fake acupuncture groups underwent twice-weekly sessions for six weeks, followed by one session a week for six more weeks.

The study had a median follow-up of 46.1 months, during which time 264 patients had a recurrence, diagnosis of a new breast cancer, diagnosis of a new cancer outside the breast, or died. "There are so few side effects [to acupuncture] and it's non-addictive. Our goal now is to make sure patients have access to it and that insurance will cover it, just like they would for a pain medication".

Breastcancer.org has more on aromatase inhibitors.

In the meantime, the findings suggest that "health care practitioners should discuss the possibility of acupuncture with patients experiencing aromatase inhibitor-related joint pain and stiffness, because it has the potential to improve their quality of life", Hershman said. That's what we would like to see, but, again, you can't really predict that.

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