‘Landmark’ study discovers drug able to ‘shrink’ breast cancer

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Up to 8,000 cancer patients in the UK could receive a game-changing drug shown to shrink tumours and slow the progression of the disease, experts have said. A trial of 700 people yielded “fantastic” results after showing the drug could double the amount of time it takes before the disease progresses. Both patients with the advanced form and most common form of breast cancer could benefit from the treatment, when taken alongside hormone therapy.

The findings of a phase III clinical trial were presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Thursday.

As part of the trial, 355 patients received the drug alongside fulvestrant, a common hormone therapy administered to patients with progressing disease.

Capivarsertib appeared to complement the hormone therapy by inhibiting the activity of cancer-driving protein molecule AKT.

When coupled with hormone therapy, researchers found the drug shrank tumours in 23 percent of patients, compared with 12 percent of those who received a placebo.

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Another key finding was that the time of progress of the disease in these patients grew from 3.6 month to 7.2 months.

Professor Kristian Helin, chief executive of the ICR, said: “This is a landmark moment for the treatment of advanced forms of the most common type of breast cancer.

“Capivasertib could offer a completely new treatment option for these patients.

“This is a major success story for UK science – the discovery and development of capivasertib showcases the benefits of collaboration between academia, charities, and industry to bring game-changing new treatments to people with cancer as quickly as possible.”

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