Cancer Research News: Anti-Estrogen Drug Combo Improves Life Expectancy for Post-Menopausal Women with Metastatic Breast Cancer
SWOG (Formerly the Southwest Oncology Group) is one of the five cooperative groups that together comprise the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI’s) National Clinical Trials Network. SWOG has released the results of a Phase 3 clinical trial that evaluated the impact of combining anti-estrogen drugs to treat post-menopausal women with metastatic breast cancer. The two drugs that were combined are: anastrozole (Arimidex®) and fulvestrant (Faslodex®). The focus was on hormone receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer. The early indicators are that the combo drugs, that operate with different modalities, resulted in improved life expectancy.
“….according to results of a study by the SWOG clinical trials network that were presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The combination of the two anti-estrogen drugs anastrozole and fulvestrant used in the SWOG S0226 trial extended the median survival time of women with breast cancer by more than six months compared to those who underwent standard treatment with anastrozole alone (47.7 months vs 41.3 months). The combination therapy also lengthened the median time to disease progression (15 months vs 13.5 months). Lead study coordinator Rita Mehta, M.D., of the University of California, Irvine Medical Center says the results of the phase III trial are particularly exciting because “these patients have not had a new treatment that gave them an overall survival benefit in more than a decade.” Anastrozole (Arimidex®) and fulvestrant (Faslodex®) are both already used in treating breast cancer, though not in combination. The former reduces the production of tumor-promoting estrogen, while the latter interferes with the receptors that allow estrogen to signal cells to grow and reproduce…….”
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