According to the study, the new treatment for breast cancer reduces patients’ risk of recurrence by 25% when added to standard hormone therapy.

  • The global study was led by scientists at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
  • Patients received a CDK 4/6 abemaciclib inhibitor with standard hormone therapy
  • A phase 3 study from monarchE found a 25% reduction in cancer recurrence

A study showed that patients with a common type of breast cancer saw a decrease in their risk of recurrence by a quarter after a new treatment.

During the global study, led by the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, 5,637 patients in 38 countries who had HR + receptor-positive (HR +) receptor-positive breast cancer were selected in its early stages and were at risk of recurrence to participate.

Over a two-year period, a phase III study of monarchE found a 25 percent reduction in cancer recurrence on the CDK 4/6 inhibitor abemaciclib. It was added to standard hormone therapy compared to hormone therapy alone.

Study has now It has been described as “one of the most promising breakthroughs for patients with this type of breast cancer in the past twenty years,” according to the foundation.

In their study, the foundation tested whether patients taking a CDK 4/6 abemaciclib inhibitor combined with hormonal therapy according to standard of care treatments such as chemotherapy, surgery and / or radiotherapy had a risk of recurrence compared to standard hormone therapy alone.

Royal Marsden said about 11.3 percent of patients in the control group had a cancer relapse, compared to 7.8 percent of the apimaclip group.

She added that about 70 percent of breast cancer patients have hormone receptor-positive tumors, and a percentage of these are at risk of relapse in the first two years.

Patients with disease that had spread to the lymph nodes, large tumor size at the time of diagnosis, or increased cell proliferation (determined by high tumor grade, or the number of dividing cells) were considered to be at high risk of recurrence and were enrolled in the study, ‘Royal Marsden said.

Sarah Ryder, the study patient, 57, from Dorset, said she “didn’t feel much hope” after finding out that the cancer had spread to 23 lymph nodes when referred last year.

“The trial helped me believe in the future again,” she said. “I can see my daughter grow up and go to university next year and maybe have a family of her own one day.”

“This research could save many lives in the future,” said Professor Stephen Johnston, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Royal Marsden and Professor of Breast Cancer Medicine at Cancer Research Institute.

He added, “ monarchE research has given us confidence that we will soon be able to offer a greater chance to high-risk HR + patients to keep them cancer-free.

While there have been many advances in other early breast cancer subtypes such as HER2 positive disease, there has been no significant progression of a large group of patients with HRP-positive breast cancer since the late 1990s when aromatase inhibitors were introduced.

The results of the monarchE study are presented at the virtual conference of the European Society of Medical Oncology on Sunday evening and simultaneously published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The monarchE trial was funded by Eli Lilly Pharmaceutical.