BY George C. Upper III, The Western JournalJune 28, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 28, 2023
1 year ago

Huge Cancer Survival Boost: Oncologists Announce 'Major Advance' With 2 New Drugs

Two new drugs represent a "major advance" in the treatment of terminal cancer, studies revealed earlier this month indicated.

Studies of the drugs osimertinib and ribociclib showed that they increased survival rates for patients with lung and breast cancer, respectively.

The studies were released at this year's annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Both represent new progress in the development of "targeted therapies," according to Dr. Marc Siegel, professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.

"Targeted therapies have been a major advance in treating deadly cancers," Siegel told Fox News. "Osimertinib targets an abnormal protein on the surface of some cancers (in this case lung) and targets it for destruction. Ribociclib targets abnormal growth hormones in breast cancer, and is being used earlier in the treatment process to boost survival."

The osimertinib study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on June 4, showed that the drug increased 5-year survival rates to 88 percent, versus 78 percent who received a placebo treatment.

In patients with more advanced non-small-cell lung cancer, the difference between the two groups was slightly more dramatic: 85 percent versus 73 percent.

The study concluded that osimertinib offered a "significant overall survival benefit" in the prevention of recurrence of lung cancer for some patients who had undergone surgery to remove the cancer.

"Overall, the mortality rate was 51% lower for those who took the drug," Fox reported.

A second study showed that ribociclib helped lower the recurrence rate in the "most common type of breast cancer" by a remarkable 25 percent.

That study's results, presented at the same conference on June 2, found that adding ribociclib to hormonal therapy "made cancer 25% less likely to return for those patients with hormone receptor (HR) positive, HER2-negative early-stage breast cancer (EBC)," according to a summary in The American Journal of Managed Care.

The study involved 5,101 men and women with breast cancer who were receiving hormonal therapy over three years.

About 7.4 percent of those who received ribociclib saw the cancer return, compared to 9.2 percent of those who received hormonal therapy alone.

“Based on the numbers of patients that are challenged with this subtype of disease” the findings “could result in a significant efficacy improvement," said lead investigator Dennis J. Slamon, MD, PhD, medical oncologist at UCLA Health, according to the AJMC.

Salmon noted that the findings were consistent across a number of subgroups.

“While early, these results are very promising," said Rita Nanda, MD, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

The American Cancer Society estimates that over 300,000 people will report new cases of breast cancer in 2023, and that 43,700 will die of the disease before the year is out.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: George C. Upper III, The Western Journal



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