Breast Cancer Trial For PI3K Drug A Success

Breast cancer patients will be pleased to hear that a drug trial has been a success for tumours with PIK3CA mutation.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis has announced the global phase 3 SOLAR-1 trial that evaluated the PI3K inhibitor has succeeded in that it improved progression-free survival (PFS), reported Pharmafield.

The PI3K inhibitor - otherwise known as BYL719 – was used in 572 patients in combination with AstraZeneca’s Faslodex (fulvestrant) hormonal therapy in postmenopausal women and men who have advanced or metastatic PIK3CA-mutatnt breast cancer. This is compared with just using Faslodex therapy without any other drug.

Novartis’ head of oncology global drug development Samit Hirawat said:

“BYL719 is the only alpha-specific PI3K inhibitor and the first one to show potential increased benefit and acceptable tolerability for patients…”

Mr Hirawat added that researchers are “encouraged by the results”, and want to start having “discussions with health authorities worldwide” about use of the drug for relevant breast cancer patients.

There are currently no PI3K inhibitors for advanced breast cancer, despite these being able to alter the pathways that encourage tumour growth.

Indeed, other pharmaceutical giants have tried – and failed – to produce a successful PI3K inhibitor with the same results, showing just how important the work of Novartis has been in this trial.

Breast cancer sufferers and those in the oncology field will be able to learn more about the SOLAR-1 trial at an upcoming medical congress.

In June, the National Cancer Institute revealed how its researchers managed to treat a woman with metastatic breast cancer through the use of immunotherapy, despite other treatments having failed to halt her tumour growth.

Make sure you undergo breast cancer self-exams regularly to improve your chances of detecting any lumps as early as possible and avoid possible cancer cells advancing.