By Estel Grace Masangkay
AstraZeneca presented new data for its investigational drug Faslodex (fulvestrant) as treatment for hormone-receptor positive breast cancer compared to Arimidex (anastrozole) at the recent 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS).
Fulvestrant, marketed as Faslodex, is designed to stop and degrade estrogen receptors to achieve downregulation and disruption of tumor growth. Faslodex is an authorized treatment for postmenopausal patients with estrogen receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer that has progressed following antiestrogen therapy.
Results from the open-label, randomized, Phase 2 (Fulvestrant fIRst-line Study comparing endocrine Treatments) study show the drug achieved a median overall survival (OS) of 5.2 months compared to anastrozole in post- menopausal women with hormone-receptor positive (HR+) locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Fulvestrant also achieved a 30 percent reduction in risk of death among patients. The company reported fulvestrant’s safety and tolerability profile to be consistent with previous data. The most common adverse events in the patient group taking fulvestrant were bone pain, nausea, and constipation, among others.
“Postmenopausal patients with advanced stages of hormone-receptor positive breast cancer continue to face an unmet need. An extension in overall survival of almost six months in the FIRST study represents a clinically meaningful benefit for this patient group,” said Professor John Robertson, lead investigator of the study and Professor of Surgery at the University of Nottingham, UK.
“These new findings are encouraging, and we look forward to the results of the ongoing Phase III FALCON study, which is investigating the use of fulvestrant compared to anastrozole in hormone therapy naïve, advanced breast cancer patients,” said Antoine Yver, Head Oncology at Global Medicines Development at AstraZeneca.
Another treatment that AstraZeneca is also developing for breast cancer is olaparib. The company is collaborating with Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania to study the drug as treatment for BRCA-linked cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer. Encouraging results from the Phase 2 study of olaparib were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology last month.