Abemaciclib in combination with fulvestrant for advanced or metastatic breast cancer after prior endocrine therapy

August 2017
Technology Description:

Breast cancer, a cancer that develops from the tissues of the breast, is the most common cancer in the UK. There are many types of breast cancer and they are often grouped based on the presence or absence of some specific types of proteins (‘receptors’) in the cells of the patient. The most common type of breast cancer are those that are hormone receptor positive (HR+) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-). The advanced form of the HR+ and HER2- breast cancer occurs when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body such as the bones, brain and liver.

Abemaciclib is a new drug that is being developed for patients with the HR+/HER2- type of advanced breast cancer. The drug is being developed to be given in combination with fulvestrant, a drug that is already in use for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. Abemaciclib works differently from other drugs by targeting a very specific type of enzyme produced by cancer cells in patients with HR+/HER2- breast cancer. Abemaciclib is taken orally while fulvestrant is given by injection. If approved, the combination of both drugs will offer additional treatment options for patients with advanced HR+/HER2- breast cancer that have not responded well to other drugs.