Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Breast Cancer Update: June 7

Today in breast cancer news - a bone metastasis drug, a vaccine for HER2 positive patients and generic letrozole.

Alpharadin for breast cancer bone metastasis

This morning, a story in Reuters revealed positive preliminary phase IIa trial results for Alpharadin for the treatment of bone metastasis from hormone-therapy resistant breast cancer. In the study, Alpharadin reduced two markers of bone involvement, and it was found to be safe and well-tolerated. Larger trials are needed to confirm the results.

NeuVax vaccine for HER2 positive breast cancer recurrence prevention

According to a story in the Boston Business Journal, a three-year phase II study of the NeuVax vaccine for HER2 positive breast cancer showed promising results. Women in remission treated with the vaccine had no recurrences 36 months later. There was a 22 percent recurrence rate among those not treated with the vaccine, "which is consistent with historical norms." A Phase III trial is planned for 2012.

Generic aromatase inhibitors

In late May, a study revealed that women with high insurance co-pays were more likely to discontinue the recommended five years of aromatase inhibitor therapy. (See the Femara (letrozole) news page.) As aromatase inhibitor patents expire, the costs are expected to drop with the release of generic versions. In late April, Mylan launched a generic version of Femara. Today, it was announced that APP Pharmaceuticals will begin marketing its own generic version.

This weekend, the news was abuzz with stories about Aromasin (exemestane) to lower breast cancer risk. Interestingly, both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times noted the April 2011 patent expiration and expected decrease in cost.

Please check back tomorrow for more news updates from LATESTBreastCancer.com.

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