Exciting MBC drug developments from SABC

Kudos to  Suzanne Hebert.

Alert readers will remember that Suzanne, my fellow MBCN member, was featured in a NY Times article this past January. That article explained the realities of living with MBC. I know several people who forwarded it to others and said “This is what I have, this is my story.”

Suzanne is back in the news today as part of some exciting developments announced at this year’s SABC:

Here is the WSJ story:

Suzanne Hebert, MBCN VP, reports good results from her Afiinitor trial.


And here is the story from ABC News:


Afinitor is an exciting* development for people with hormonal receptor-positive breast cancer who have not responded to initial hormonal therapy.

*Exciting being a relative term. If your relative gets 7 more months out of this drug, yes, that is exciting.

According to Reuters: Novartis AG’s Afinitor, taken with a hormonal therapy from Pfizer, more than doubles the time women with a type of advanced breast cancer live without their disease getting worse.

Women given Afinitor with Pfizer’s estrogen-blocker Aromasin (aka exemestane), had progression-free survival (PFS) of more than seven months vs. those only given the hormonal treatment.

The study findings represent an additional five months of follow-up data and come on top of the initial BOLERO-2 results that were presented at the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress (EMCC) in Stockholm in September.

Afinitor targets mTOR, a protein that acts as an important regulator of tumor cell division, blood vessel growth and cell metabolism.

The hormone oestrogen promotes the growth of about two-thirds of breast cancers and hormonal therapies such as Aromasin, which block the effect of oestrogen or reduce its levels, are used to treat these hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

But many breast cancer patients, and nearly all those with advanced forms of the disease where it has spread to other parts of the body, become resistant to hormonal therapy.


6 thoughts on “Exciting MBC drug developments from SABC

  1. Katie says:

    Good news, indeed!


  2. The word “exciting” here is a bit relative isn’t it? But we’ll take what we can get and this does sound promising.

  3. Sounds promising. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  4. MJ says:

    ROFL Katherine, what a world we live in when 7 months is exciting new, and a 3 months delta is considered earth-shattering. Love the little asterisk & footnote, very academic and professional LOL.

    I guess I’m kind of bitter since I was on the crazy stuff and it didn’t work for me. Wasted 4 months of my life with tumors growing from mediums to large. Argh.

  5. Eileen says:

    just turned around my insurance’s initial denial… for me it’s a last ditch effort, next stop hospice care, since I’m pretty clearly entering ‘end stage’ status. I’m grateful this came up at San Antonio, because my onc wouldn’t have even considered it otherwise. Not ready to go yet…

    • katherinembc says:

      Eileen–all the best to you. I am glad you got the approval. Sources for help should you need it:

      The PAF provides education, legal counseling, and referrals to cancer patients and survivors concerning managed care, insurance, financial issues, job discrimination, and debt crisis matters.

      The Abigail Alliance is committed to helping create wider access to developmental cancer drugs and other drugs for serious life-threatening illnesses.
      See: http://abigail-alliance.org/mission.php

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