Advanced breast cancer drug appears effective on multiple targets

October 21, 2017

The compound, SUTENT or SU11248, acts to inhibit the growth of blood vessels that feed tumors and to halt cell reproduction by interfering with two receptors on the surface of tumor cells, said Kathy Miller, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

???None of the current approved drugs inhibit this many growth factors related to cell development which makes this a very interesting drug,??? said Dr. Miller.

The clinical trial involved 64 women with advanced disease who had not responded to other treatments. Early results for approximately 15 percent of trial participants indicate no progression of the disease or at least a 50 percent reduction in the size of their tumors.

???These ladies have very advanced disease so this is very encouraging,??? said Dr. Miller.

The drug, which is made by Pfizer Oncology, will be further tested in a Phase III trial for patients with advanced disease and a Phase II trial of other tumor types.


None of these variables showed a relationship with postmenopausal breast cancer. Birth order was not associated with breast cancer risk in pre- or postmenopausal women.

"Our results support the hypothesis that early life events impact women's breast-cancer risk later in life," said Barba. "Further research based on targeted studies is needed to reach a deeper understanding of the underlying biological mechanisms."

Additional researchers on the study were Susan E. McCann, Ph.D., Jing Nie, Ph.D., Saverio Stranges, M.D., Ph.D., Barbara Fuhrman, Maurizio Trevisan, M.D., and Jo L. Freudenheim, Ph.D., from the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, and Paola Muti, M.D., formerly at UB, currently at the Italian National Cancer Institute Regina Elena in Rome, Italy.

The research was supported in part by grants from the U.S. Army and the American-Italian Cancer Foundation.

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