Chemo could be avoided even in the most aggressive breast cancers. A Spanish research group specializing in oncology has in fact revealed that for some breast tumors chemotherapy therapy could be replaced by a decidedly less invasive biological treatment.
The study, called Coralleen , was just presented at the world congress on breast cancer in San Antonio, Texas and published in The Lancet Oncology . The patients who could benefit from these advances (30% of breast cancer patients) are those who suffer from a sensitive hormone tumor with a high risk of metastasis.
Specifically, in the Coralleen phase 2 clinical trial, the researchers showed that treatment with ribociclib and letrozole is highly effective in patients with early hormone-sensitive breast cancer at high risk of developing metastasis even 10 years apart.
” The main conclusion of the study is that these patients with hormone-sensitive tumors who must undergo chemo to prevent them from metastasizing, can be treated with CDK4 / 6 inhibitor drugs that, together with hormonal treatment, could reach similar and even greater efficiencies than chemotherapy, ” explains dr. Aleix Prat, head of the medical oncology service of the Clínic de Barcelona hospital.
The study involved 106 patients from 21 hospitals in Spain for 1 year and a half. Only patients with aggressive cancer and at high risk of metastasis participated in the investigation. Of these, 50% underwent chemotherapy and the other 50% were biologically treated.
Drugs that inhibit CDK4 / 6 such as ribociclib in combination with hormone therapy (letrozole) have shown extraordinary efficacy in metastatic breast cancer. In this context, the use of chemotherapy has ceased to be the main option. In contrast, in patients with early-stage breast cancer and at high risk of recurrence, the role of these biological drugs is not yet defined.
The study is the first in the world to use real-time genomic data to more accurately select patients with high-risk tumors and the first to integrate clinical, pathological and genomic data to measure response to treatment and demonstrate that in About half of the patients treated with ribociclib and letrozole administered for 6 months transform tumors at high risk of recurrence into low risk malignancies.
“ We are convinced that this biological therapeutic strategy can replace chemotherapy in this subgroup of patients at high risk of recurrence. However, we need further proof. To achieve this, we designed a second study with a much larger number of patients, ” conclude the researchers.
The idea that chemotherapy can be avoided is everything a woman could hope for in an already tortuous path against a sometimes devastating disease. We hope the search goes on.