Ribociclib Addition Assessed for PFS in HR+ HER2- Advanced Breast CA

Alicia Farmer
December 8, 2017

The findings were presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held December 5 - 9.

On July 17, neratinib was approved in the extended adjuvant setting in breast cancer, which was very exciting.

According to Rimawi, there has been a robust interest in the immune system in patients with breast cancer, explains Rimawi. "A significant amount of preclinical and correlative clinical data suggest that such cases could be amenable to immunotherapy".

Novartis announced positive topline results from the global MONALEESA-7 trial, the second phase III trial of Kisqali (ribociclib) in advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

A total of 58 patients were included in the study, which met its primary objective. Trastuzumab (Herceptin) has immune effects in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer creating a role for immunotherapy in this subset. Previous, smaller studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce joint pain and swelling related to aromatase inhibitor treatment, according to Dr. Hershman, but these studies provided uncertain interpretations due to their small size and the fact that they were conducted at single institutions.

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"This is yet another study that reveals the benefits of acupuncture in treating pain", Coomer said. The patients were monitored for another 12 weeks after stopping acupuncture treatments, and reported on their pain using various methods, including the BPI, throughout this 24-week period. Of the patients in the study, 110 received true acupuncture, 59 were given fake acupuncture - needles placed at ineffective spots on the body - and another 57 were placed on a waiting list. Women taking Kisqali also had a clinically meaningful improvement in pain symptoms as early as eight weeks and this improvement was sustained. After six weeks, patients in the true acupuncture treatment group reported significantly lower BPI "worst pain" by almost a point compared with those receiving sham acupuncture and no acupuncture.

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"What this is going for is trying to find a way to screen women for breast cancer that is going to include more than just a standardized for the whole population", says Sanford Physician and Principal Investigator on the WISDOM study Dr. Andrea Kaster. This has real implications for patients in how patients can address their pain.

Breastcancer.org has more on aromatase inhibitors. "We need to identify strategies to control these side effects, the most common of which is debilitating joint pain and stiffness".

In the meantime, the findings suggest that "health care practitioners should discuss the possibility of acupuncture with patients experiencing aromatase inhibitor-related joint pain and stiffness, because it has the potential to improve their quality of life", Hershman said.

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