Verzenio Demonstrates Progression-Free Survival in Advanced Breast Cancer
by C.H. Weaver M.D. (05/2018)
Recently released clinical trial results from the Phase 3 MONARCH 2 study showed that Verzenio (abemaciclib), a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4 & 6 inhibitor, when administered in combination with fulvestrant, significantly improves the time to cancer progression compared to treatment with fulvestrant alone in women with hormone-receptor-positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-), advanced breast cancer.
About Metastatic Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide with nearly 1.7 million new cases diagnosed in 2012.2 In the U.S. each year, nearly 232,000 individuals will develop invasive breast cancer and about 40,000 women will succumb to their disease.3 Metastatic breast cancer is rarely curable, but is often treatable and controllable for many years.
Verzenio is a cyclin-dependant kinase. Cyclin-dependent kinases play a key role in regulating the replication and growth of cells. In many cancers, uncontrolled cell growth occurs because there is a loss of control in regulating the cell cycle due to increased signaling from CDK 4 and 6. Verzenio was designed to block the growth of cancer cells by specifically inhibiting CDK 4 and 6.
In the current MONARCH 2 clinical trial 669 patients with advanced breast cancer were treated with either Verzenio plus fulvestrant, or fulvestrant alone and directly compared. The combination therapy achieved an objective response rate of 48.1% compared to 21.3% in patients treated with fulvestrant alone. This translated into a delay in the time to cancer progression. Patients treated with the combination survived 16.4 compared to 9.3 months for fulvestrant alone without cancer progression.
Cyclin-dependent kinases play a key role in regulating the replication and growth of breast cancer cells and several medicines that target this growth pathway have either been recently approved or are in the development process.
1.The data were presented at the 2017 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting (Abstract #1000) and simultaneously published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
2.World Cancer Research Fund International. Breast Cancer.
3.American Cancer Society. Understanding Advanced Cancer, Metastatic Cancer and Bone Metastases. https://www.cancer.org/treatment/understanding-your-diagnosis/advanced-cancer/what-is.html.