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Trial Shows Drug Combo Extends Time Without Tumor Growth

Mammogram (


The global pharmaceutical company Novartis says its drug everolimus, when used in combination with exemestane, extended the time without tumor growth, when compared to placebo plus exemestane, in women with advanced breast cancer. The study included postmenopausal women with metastatic breast cancer whose disease has progressed, despite initial endocrine therapy.

Novartis says the clinical trial that provided these findings was stopped early after interim results showed the primary endpoint of progression-free survival was met. The trial involved more than 700 patients at over 195 sites worldwide.

The study is a phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of everolimus in combination with exemestane, versus placebo plus exemestane in postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive locally-advanced or metastatic breast cancer, whose disease has progressed, despite treatment with nonsteroidal aromatase inhibitors.

Everolimus, which Novartis markets under the name Afinitor, targets mTOR in cancer cells, a protein that acts as a regulator of tumor cell division, blood vessel growth, and cell metabolism. Everolimus is also being studied for the treatment of patients with HER2+ advanced breast cancer.

Read more: FDA Approves Genetic Test for Breast Cancer Treatment

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