Healthplan Spain


New Drug Shows Promise In Reducing Recurrence Of Early-Stage Breast Cancer Health News

Breast cancer, one of the most prevalent and concerning diseases in Spain, has continued to be a focal point for medical advancements and improvements. With 34,750 cases diagnosed in 2022, according to the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology (SEOM), experts have been diligently working to drive the numbers down and enhance patient outcomes.

While breast cancer can be a daunting diagnosis, there is a glimmer of hope in the form of a revolutionary new drug.

The SEOM has reported an encouraging trend in breast cancer survival rates, which have significantly improved in recent years, largely attributed to advances in research and increased awareness. Early detection is key, with the survival rate exceeding 90 percent when breast cancer is diagnosed at stage I. Dr. Ana Santaballa Bertrán stated that early diagnosis can push the survival rate even higher, up to 98 percent.

New Drug Offers Breakthrough in Early Breast Cancer Treatment

One beacon of hope comes in the form of a new drug developed in Spain, now being used in the fight against early breast cancer. This innovative medication has managed to reduce the risk of long-term relapse in breast cancer patients by an impressive 32 percent. Additionally, it has improved the five-year survival rate free of invasive disease by 7.6 percent.

This groundbreaking announcement was made by the manufacturer, Lilly, at the Congress of the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO). The results of the monarchE trial were presented after five years of follow-up, highlighting the sustained benefits of the treatment.

The drug, known as abemaciclib (marketed as Verzemios), is administered as adjuvant therapy in combination with endocrine therapy.

The treatment approach, combining abemaciclib and hormonal therapies, is particularly effective for early-stage breast cancers, which account for 90 percent of all cases. The study mainly focuses on HR+HER2- or luminal subtype breast cancers, which constitute approximately 70 percent of all cases.

Dr. Miguel Martín, Head of the Medical Oncology Service at the Gregorio Marañón Hospital, described the study as "one of the greatest advances in the treatment of early breast cancer in recent decades." Patients who are eligible to receive abemaciclib, a population previously with a poor prognosis, now have a therapeutic option that significantly enhances their prognosis and reduces the risk of recurrence.

Promising Progress in HR+HER2- Breast Cancer Treatment

HR+HER2- breast cancers, also known as luminal or hormone-sensitive, respond to hormonal changes that can be therapeutically managed. While prognosis is often favourable in the initial stages, some patients face a threefold increased risk of recurrence, in some cases leading to incurable metastatic disease, particularly within the first two years of endocrine treatment.

The five-year analysis of patients treated with abemaciclib showed a 32.5 percent reduction in the risk of developing distant recurrence or death compared to patients treated only with endocrine therapy. Moreover, the study highlighted that dose reductions did not compromise the drug's efficacy. Dr. Martín emphasised that "dose reductions of abemaciclib do not affect efficacy as long as they are due to the control of side effects." This, in turn, maximises treatment adherence, as only 7 percent of patients discontinued abemaciclib due to side effects.

With these promising results, Spain is contributing to the global effort to improve breast cancer treatment, offering new hope to those affected by this devastating disease. As researchers and medical professionals continue to push the boundaries of medical science, the future holds the promise of even better outcomes for breast cancer patients.

Prioritising Breast Health: Tips for Reducing Risk

While certain risk factors for breast cancer cannot be altered, adopting a healthy lifestyle can play a crucial role in risk reduction. According to Cancer Research UK, abstaining from smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, adhering to a healthy diet such as a Mediterranean diet, engaging in regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and practising breastfeeding if you have children can contribute to a lower risk of this disease.

Furthermore, active participation in your community's breast cancer screening program, including regular mammograms every two years between the ages of 50 and 69, is imperative. For those with a family history of breast cancer, consulting with your healthcare provider is essential to assess whether additional precautions are necessary.

Source: 20minutos