23 Jul 2012, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Afinitor (everolimus) tablets for the treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer (advanced HR+ breast cancer) in combination with exemestane after failure of treatment with letrozole or anastrozole.
"Afinitor is the first and only treatment that boosts the effectiveness of endocrine therapy, significantly extending the time women with advanced breast cancer live without tumor progression," said Gabriel Hortobagyi, MD, Chair of Breast Medical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. "This approval redefines the treatment and management of advanced hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, offering a critical new option for physicians and patients."
Each year, an estimated 220,000 women globally are diagnosed with advanced HR+ breast cancer, the most common form of the disease. In the US, nearly 40,000 people are expected to be newly diagnosed with advanced breast cancer this year alone. Approximately 70 percent of all invasive breast cancers are positive for HR expression at the time of diagnosis.
The approval was based on a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-center trial called BOLERO-2 (Breast cancer trials of OraL EveROlimus-2), which evaluated 724 postmenopausal women with advanced HR+ breast cancer with recurrence or progression following prior therapy with letrozole or anastrozole.
"The approval of Afinitor in advanced breast cancer marks a very proud day for the breast cancer community and Novartis. We are bringing a highly-effective treatment to women and their physicians who are in need of new approaches in the battle against this disease," said Hervé Hoppenot, President, Novartis Oncology. "This milestone is a result of an extensive collaboration with researchers around the world who have helped study Afinitor in advanced breast cancer, as well as the more than 700 women who participated in the trial."