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Drug that cuts risk of most common types of breast cancer returning by 25% is extremely positive - hopefully patients will start benefitting

Recent trial results have shown that a drug could reduce the risk of the most common types of breast cancer from returning by up to 25% and boost survival rates.

A trial conducted in the United States has been presented at the America Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting which has shown the targeted therapy drug Ribociclib, also known as Kisqali, could reduce the instances of cancer recurring. The drug is known as a small molecule inhibitor and works by targeting specific proteins in breast cancer cells which modify the growth of cancer cells.

The research has been described as promising and it has shown to cut the risk of recurrence by 25% when used with standard hormone therapy. Adding the drug to the standard hormone therapy showed a significant improvement in disease-free survival time for patients with HER2 negative early-stage breast cancer which is the most common subtype of breast cancer, making up nearly 70% of all breast cancer cases in the United States. The research involved 5,101 patients who received three years of ribociclib alongside 5 years of hormonal therapy or hormonal therapy alone.

Currently around one third of those with stage two hormone receptor-positive HER2- negative disease will suffer a recurrence after standard treatment and more than half of those with stage three disease will see a recurrence; therefore, any treatment that could reduce this risk will make a massive difference in keeping patients cancer free.

Use in the UK and on the NHS

 Dr Catherine Elliott, director of research and partnerships at Cancer Research UK has stated that the “initial early results are promising” but “more research is required.” 

Dr Kotryna Temacinaite, head of research communications at Breast Cancer Now has said that: “This treatment must now be swiftly submitted for licensing, and assessed for use on the NHS, so this group of primary breast cancer patients have the chance to benefit from it as soon as possible.”

The drug has already been approved by regulars in the UK to treat breast cancer which has spread to other parts of the body; however, its potential application in the earlier-stage setting could help many more patients in the future.

Support people affected by breast cancer

Breast cancer treatment has improved significantly over the decades. However, recurrence remains a significant concern for patients as many will experience a recurrence and if this does occur, the cancer is often at a more advanced stage. 

Through my work as a medical negligence solicitor, I've supported many clients suffering with different types of cancer, including breast cancer. Recurrence of the cancer is always one of their major concerns, especially if there's been a delay in the diagnosis of treatment of their cancer. The early results of this trial are extremely positive and hopefully we will see many patients benefitting from this drug in the near future.

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell’s expertise in supporting people and their families affected by cancer at our dedicated cancer claims section

Trial results presented at US oncology conference suggest Ribociclib could be gamechanging and boost survival rate significantly”