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    Scientists have found that a breast cancer drug already on the NHS can reduce recurrences if used early.

    Initial cancer treatment with ribociclib reduces the risk of recurrence over a three-year follow-up period by 25 percent. Photo: izusek/E+

    The number of breast cancer patients suffering from recurrence could be reduced by a quarter thanks to a drug already in use by the NHS.

    Ribociclib has been used to treat advanced breast cancer, but new data show that its early administration to women may prevent the recurrence of tumors in the future.

    In a U.S. study of more than 5,000 people with early-stage breast cancer, half of them were given their current standard of care, which includes hormone therapy, and half were also given ribociclib.

    Ribociclib – small molecule inhibitor. A therapy that fights cancer by targeting proteins in breast cancer cells called CDK4 and CDK6 that modulate the growth of cells, including cancer cells.

    One of three drugs in this class used by the National Health Service and approved by the Drug and Health Administration. Product Regulatory Agencies, it is currently only used in a small subset of breast cancer patients.

    However, the UCLA NATALEE study found the drug to be effective in a wider range of cancers .

    Reducing the risk of relapse

    Ribociclib has been tested in people who are hormone receptor positive (HR-positive). ), HER2-negative breast cancer, the most common type.

    According to the authors, this type of cancer returns in about a third of people after conventional treatment.

    Data show that initial cancer treatment with ribociclib reduces the risk of recurrence over a three-year follow-up period by 25%.

    The disease-free survival rate was 90.4% for ribociclib compared to 87.1%. percent for the current standard of care.

    Significant unmet need

    Lead author, Dr. Dennis J. Slamon, director of clinical/translational research and director of the Revlon/UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center reports that current therapies are only available for a small number of cancer cases.

    “There is a significant unmet need both to reduce the risk of recurrence and to provide an acceptable treatment option that allows patients to get rid of cancer without disrupting their daily lives,” he said.

    “The NATALEE study examined the addition of ribociclib to standard adjuvant endocrine therapy and was specifically designed to address these unmet needs.”

    The results presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago were “very promising” ,” said Dr. Rita Nanda, an oncologist.

    “[The results] suggest that ribociclib as an adjuvant will play a role in hormone-positive (HR-positive) and HER2-negative stage II and higher breast cancers '.

    Targeting and blocking

    Dr. Kotrina Temchinaitė, head of scientific communications at Breast Cancer Now, said: “The drug targets certain proteins that help cancer cells reproduce, and by blocking them, it can slow or stop cancer growth.”

    “Researchers found that when combined with hormone therapy, ribociclib significantly reduced the chance of recurrence in women with estrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative primary breast cancer.

    Dr. Kotrina Temchinaite of Cancer Now said, “The drug targets certain proteins that help cancer cells reproduce, and by blocking them, it can slow or stop cancer growth.” Credit: izusek/E+

    “We know that many women and their loved ones worry about the return of breast cancer after treatment, so new treatments like ribociclib that can reduce this risk are incredibly welcome.

    “Now this treatment should be quickly submitted for licensing. and is being evaluated for use by the NHS, so this group of patients with primary breast cancer has a chance to benefit from it as soon as possible.”


    Dr Katherine Elliott, director of research and partnerships at Cancer Research UK, said: “The most common subtype of breast cancer is HR-positive and HER-2 negative, which means tumor growth is fueled by hormones.”

    ” This type of breast cancer is sensitive to hormone therapy such as tamoxifen and fulvestrant, but despite these treatment options, the cancer can return.

    “Ribociclib is a type of targeted therapy, and when combined with fulvestrant, already approved by the NHS to treat people with advanced HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, or for people with this type of cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

    “In this, researchers are investigating whether ribociclib could be beneficial for people with early-stage breast cancer in combination with hormone therapy.

    “While more research is needed, the initial early results from the ongoing NATALEE study are promising. .

    “The combination of ribociclib and hormone therapy may provide a new treatment option for people with this type of early-stage breast cancer, reducing the risk of recurrence of the disease and improving survival.”

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