Linked to longer disease-free survival; second study links denosumab to reduced risk of recurrence
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Capecitabine appears to reduce risk of recurrence for breast cancer patients with residual disease after presurgery chemotherapy, according to research presented at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held from Dec. 8 to 12 in San Antonio. In addition, denosumab appears to reduce recurrence risk in women who have hormone receptor (HR)-positive breast cancer, a second study reports.
For the capecitabine study, Masakazu Toi, M.D., Ph.D., a professor at Kyoto University Hospital in Japan and founder and senior director of the Japan Breast Cancer Research Group, and colleagues enrolled 910 patients who had human epidermal growth factor type 2-negative breast cancer that did not fully respond to chemotherapy prior to surgery. These patients underwent standard treatment for their breast cancer, and then were randomly assigned post-treatment to take either capecitabine or a placebo. The 455 patients assigned capecitabine received eight cycles of therapy, each lasting 21 days. They took the drug twice a day for the first 14 days, followed by seven days with no treatment.
Two years later, the researchers found the patients assigned capecitabine had a 31 percent reduced risk of disease recurrence compared with those assigned the placebo. Disease-free survival was slightly more than 87 percent for those assigned capecitabine and 80.5 percent for those assigned placebo. However, the drug did not appear to significantly impact overall survival, which at two years was just over 96 percent versus almost 94 percent.
The denosumab study focused on women with HR-positive breast cancer. Researchers enrolled 3,425 postmenopausal patients with early-stage, HR-positive breast cancer and randomly assigned 1,711 to 60 mg of injected denosumab once every six months. The rest received a placebo. After an average follow-up of four years, patients assigned denosumab had an 18 percent reduced risk of disease recurring compared with those assigned placebo, the researchers found.
Amgen, which makes denosumab, funded the second study.
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