A recent study on experimental breast cancer drug developed by Pfizer Inc. showed the positive effect of the drug in slowing down the cancer progression.
The experimental drug was named PD-0332991. According to a report today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, patients who received a combination treatment of PD-0332991 and letrozole, the older drug under the brand name of Femara, did not develop tumor progression for 26.1 month on average. In other words, they can prolong their life for more than two years before their death of cancer or their tumors reoccurrence. In contrast, patients treated with letrozole alone showed tumor progression after 7.5 months.
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"This magnitude of benefit is probably one of the largest with any new agent in breast cancer, or perhaps any solid tumor," said Richard Finn, the leader of the research from the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, Los Angeles, in a telephone interview.
According to Pfizer, about 60 percent of breast cancer patients diagnosed with estrogen positive tumor lacking the protein HER2.
"The drug obviously hits a critical pathway in estrogen- receptor positive breast cancer," Finn said.
Another research on breast cancer drug also showed a remarkable result of the extension of tamoxifen on preventing cancer's return. Researchers showed that extending the use of tamoxifen to 10 years, instead of the current treatment of 5 years, can reduce the risk of having cancer reoccur.
Pfizer plan to test the effect of PD-0332991 and letrozole in post-menopausal women who have advanced cancer. The company will reveal more result from the research at a future conference.