Targeted Drug – Palbociclib – Stops Tumour Growth In Patients With Early Breast Cancer

MELBOURNE: A breast cancer treatment developed by Australian researchers has successfully halted tumour growth for twice as long as previously recorded, it was announced on Friday.

The therapy involves taking a new class of drug, called CDK4 and CDK6 inhibitors, and it significantly delayed tumour growth in patients with advanced breast cancer, reports Xinhua news agency.

Researchers from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (PMCC) will now trial the therapy in patients with early-stage cancer in an attempt to stop the disease from spreading throughout the body.

The tablets, Palbociclib, Ribociclib and Abemaciclib, work differently to hormone treatments currently used by deactivating the process that allows cancer cells to grow uninhibited.

Richard de Boer, an oncologist at the PMCC and Epworth hospital, said that developing a tablet that has no side effects such as the inhibitors was an "exciting" step.

"We've got good chemotherapy drugs, but they're toxic. They require intravenous treatment, you lose your hair and you can feel really sick," de Boer told the Australian media on Friday.

"If you can come up with a combination treatment that delays the need for chemotherapy by 10, 20 or 30 months, that's a great achievement for women with advanced disease."

More than 4,600 women will participate in the new global trial of Palbociclib where the new drug's ability to stop cancer from returning after surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation will be compared to standard hormone therapy.

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