Professor Nick Turner on palbociclib extending breast cancer survival

The study has shown that palbociclib can help women with advanced breast cancer, live longer. The Paloma-3 trial was a study run at The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden, in London. This was a trial for women with the most common type of breast cancer hormone receptor positive, HER2 negative. Palbociclib’s given with hormone therapy for the most common type of breast cancer. It shows that these drugs can substantially extend how long women live for, improving their survival by 7 months. Metastatic breast cancer unfortunately is not curable but many patients with it really can lead normal lives and the importance for treatment is keeping patients very well and helping them live for as long as possible. Palbociclib is very well tolerated can extend how well treatments work for a very long time and when the alternative for some of these women is chemotherapy, which has substantially more side effects, palbociclib has really come forward as a substantial benefit for them. This study took women who are on a very commonly used hormone therapy and gave half of them palbociclib and those women given palbociclib did substantially better on those hormone therapy. Palbociclib has already been approved for use in the NHS and this is really fantastic. But it’s not available for all women with advanced hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Given these results emphasive quite how important this can be for women I think it’s very important that we now look at how we can try and make it available to all women who might be able to benefit.

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