Afinitor Approved By FDA for Advanced Breast Cancer Treatment
By Robin Wulffson MD for eMaxHealth.com
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death among women. This year an estimated 226,870 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and 39,510 will die from the disease. Another option is now available for women suffering from advanced breast cancer. On July 20, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Afinitor (everolimus) for use in combination with Aromasin (exemestane) to treat certain postmenopausal women with advanced hormone-receptor positive, HER2-negative breast cancer. The drug combination is intended for use in women with recurrence or progression of their cancer after treatment with Femara (letrozole) or Arimidex (anastrozole). Afinitor is marketed by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (East Hanover, NJ).
“This is the first approval from the class of drugs known as mTOR inhibitors for the treatment of postmenopausal women with advanced hormone-receptor positive breast cancer,” noted Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. He added, “Afinitor is another example of the value of continuing to study drugs in additional types of cancer after their initial approval.”