Breast cancer treatment shows hope for younger women with advanced disease

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Breast cancer treatment shows hope for younger women with advanced disease

Women with a deadly form of breast cancer are living years longer thanks to a “game-changer” combo therapy.

Women with an aggressive and deadly form of breast cancer may live longer if they’re treated with a drug that targets breast cancer cells specifically, according to the results of a new clinical trial.

The drug, called ribociclib, was given alongside another type of cancer treatment: hormone therapy. In the study, women who received both treatments were more likely to be alive three and a half years after their diagnosis than women who only received hormone therapy. (Novartis, who makes ribociclib, funded the trial.)

The treatment is aimed at women with an advanced form of the most common type of breast cancer: hormone-receptor positive/HER2 negative cancer.

What made the trial unique is that it was focused on younger women who haven’t gone through menopause, lead study author Dr. Sara Hurvitz, an oncologist at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, said in a statement.

“This is an important group to study, since advanced breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women 20 to 59, and the vast majority of breast cancer is hormone-receptor positive.”

In the study, researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center and UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center compared the survival of 672 patients with this type of breast cancer. The women were premenopausal when the study began, and had cancer that had metastasized, or spread to other parts of the body.

Read on: Breast cancer treatment shows hope for younger women with advanced disease

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