Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) (08/08/12) Cary, Stephanie
The Food and Drug Administration's recent decision to approve the drug everolimus for the treatment of breast cancer could mark one of the biggest advances in the treatment of the disease in the past 30 years. The FDA's decision means that everolimus, which is made by Novartis and goes by the brand name Afinitor, can now be used to treat post-menopausal women who have advanced hormone receptor-positive (HR+) forms of breast cancer. A study of the effectiveness of using everolimus in conjunction with the endocrine therapy exemestane found that using the two drugs in tandem gave patients 7.8 months of progression-free survival, compared with 3.2 months of progression-free survival in women who were only given exemestane. While the approval of everolimus has been heralded as a major development, experts say that much more work still needs to be done in the breast cancer field.