New Drug “Meaningful” to Breast Cancer Community

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A new drug could help people living with advanced breast cancer, manage the disease without the pain of traditional treatments from chemotherapy.
There’s new hope for those with advanced stage breast cancer. A drug that doctors are calling really meaningful to the breast cancer community.

Dr. Stephan Rosenfeld, Medical Oncologist, Highlands Oncology Group, “We need new therapies, we need new drugs that are efficacious and have minimal side effects.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug last month. The therapy saw success in clinical trials, conducted in part at Texas Oncology in Austin. Which can help manage advanced cancer, stop tumor growth and allow patients to live normal lives without damaging side effects.

Balesh Sharma, M.D., “They are more convenient for the patient. In other words they don’t have to spend hours and hours in the cancer center trying to get treatment. There’s no hair loss, there’s hardly any of those toxic effects that we all know about chemotherapy.”

Taken in conjunction with hormone therapy, the drug can nearly double progression-free survival, the period of time a patient can use a treatment without cancer getting worse, to 11 months, up from 5.7 months with hormone therapy alone.

“It is very helpful and where in the oncology community are very excited about having these new drugs we think that this is a big advance in terms of how much we can do.” says Dr. Sharma.

More than a third of patients in the trial saw their tumors shrink or disappear, serving as another tool in the treatment toolbox that will hopefully lead to more advancements in the near future.

Patients with metastatic hormone receptor positive breast cancer with PIK3CA gene mutation are eligible for the new treatment.

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