New drug reduces risk of breast cancer progression


A new oral drug developed by the pharmaceutical laboratory Astra Zeneca considerably reduces the tumor progression in women with breast cancer with estrogen receptor (ER) positive and HER2 negative. The drug is called llama camizestrant and a phase two trial (Serena-2), coordinated by the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO), It has recently been shown to improve progression-free survival over its predecessor, fulvestrant.

These results were presented on Thursday at the 45th edition of the Sant Antonio Symposium on Breast Cancer 2022 (SABCS), symposium held in Texas from December 6-10.

Breast cancer is cancer the most widespread in the world with an estimated diagnosis of 2.3 million patients in 2020. Approximately 70% breast cancer tumors are ER positive and HER2 negative. This type of cancer is usually treated with drugs that inhibit ER activity which leads to the growth of these tumors.

Fulvestrant is currently the only SERD drug (which is a type of selective estrogen receptor degrading drug) approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of breast cancer, and should be administered by intramuscular injection in a doctor’s office. Researchers are working to develop new SERDs that are more effective and easier to administer. Camizestrant, for example, is considered a daily pill.

Mafalda Oliveira, researcher in the breast cancer group at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and medical oncologist at the Vall d’Hebron hospital, she participated in the development of this molecule and is the international coordinator of the SERENA-2 study. “It is first phase two trial to study various doses of a next-generation SERD drug versus fulvestrant in postmenopausal women with advanced HER2-negative (ER) breast cancer with recurrence Either disease progression after receiving endocrine therapy,” says Oliveira.

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According to her, “the results of the study demonstrate that camizestrant is statistically and clinically superior to fulvestrant in terms of increasing progression-free survival,” which is the time from the start of treatment to tumor regrowth. In addition, this new drug has also demonstrated better disease control in patients with lung or liver metastases.

“The results of this study support the continuation of the development of camizestrant in hormone receptor positive breast cancer,” says Oliveira. “These results are outstanding and could rekindle enthusiasm for the development of oral SERDs in breast cancer,” he concludes.

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