Novartis AG said its cancer treatment Kisqali helped prolong survival in advanced breast cancer patients when combined with tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor plus goserelin in a phase 3 study.
Aromatase inhibitors, such as Pfizer Inc.'s Aromasin, block estrogen production in the body, thereby stopping its ability to fuel some breast cancers. Goserelin was used as an initial endocrine-based therapy which slow or stop the growth of hormone-sensitive tumors by blocking the body's ability to produce hormones or by interfering with effects of hormones on breast cancer cells.
The cancer cocktail was better than a combination of tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor plus goserelin in the Monaleesa-7 study which involved premenopausal or perimenopausal women with HR+/HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
Patients in the Kisqali arm had a median progression-free survival of 23.8 months, a measure of how long a patient lived without the disease worsening, compared to 13 months in the tamoxifen, or an aromatase inhibitor, plus goserelin arm.
Kisqali, also known as ribociclib, is a new type of drug that slows the progression of cancer by inhibiting two proteins called CDK 4 and 6.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Kisqali in March as a first-line treatment for postmenopausal women with HR+/HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer in combination with an aromatase inhibitor allowing it to compete with Pfizer's CDK4/6 inhibitor Ibrance.