NEW PBS Listing:  A Game-Changer in High-Risk Early Breast Cancer Treatment.

15 May 2024
I Know This Is Difficult News


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Patients with high risk early breast cancer are three times more likely to have their breast cancer return than those with low risk disease, hence the need to do more early in the disease course

As of 1st May 2024 patients with hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative early breast cancer deemed at high risk of disease recurrence now have access to PBS-listed abemaciclib (Verzenio) in combination with standard adjuvant endocrine therapy.

Preliminary data has been reported from the international monarchE trial of >5000 patients.  It recruited those at high risk of recurrence defined as either ≥4 positive axillary lymph nodes or 1-3 positive nodes with additional high-risk features of either grade 3 disease or tumour ≥5cm in size

After a median 5 year follow up the additional of two years of abemaciclib to at least five years of standard endocrine therapy yielded remarkable outcomes: an absolute benefit of 7.6% for invasive disease-free survival (IDFS) and an absolute benefit of 6.7% for distant relapse-free survival (DRFS).

Moreover, there were fewer deaths observed in the abemaciclib plus endocrine therapy arm compared to endocrine therapy alone (n=208 vs. 234), indicating a potential trend toward improved overall survival but longer follow up is required.

The study also comments that ‘overall, patient-reported outcome findings confirm that adjuvant abemaciclib has a tolerable safety profile with symptoms that are reversible and can be managed by dose reductions without compromising efficacy’

Abemaciclib is an exciting new treatment option for patients with high risk early breast cancer which is well tolerated so ask your treating specialist if you would like more information.