Breast Cancer Drugs Yield Big Results

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Could the treatment of breast cancer through chemotherapy and costly surgeries be a thing of the past? Some say so after the announcement at the American Association for Cancer Research of two new cancer-fighting drugs: Pfizer's palbociclib and Eli Lilly & Co.'s bemaciclib. With 12% of US women expected to develop breast cancer at some point in their lives, this research signifies a huge leap in cancer treatment. Read the full article detailing the studies, and check out the results below: 

  • Palbociclib doubled the time in which patients' advanced breast cancer didn't advance (10.2 to 20.2 months)
  • Bemaciclib aided 61% of patients with metastatic, hormone-sensitive breast cancer - the size of their tumors shrunk by 30% or didn't increase for 24 weeks

This research signifies a massive leap in cancer research and is now being tested against other forms of cancer. There are plans to extend experiments to include patients with earlier stages of breast cancer as well. Given the financial gains associated with releasing these drugs into the market, both Pfizer and Lilly are pushing for accelerated FDA approval.

In 2010, cancer costs accounted for $124.6 billion, and by 2020, they could rise by as much as 66% to $207 billion. A large portion of these costs is direct medical costs, meaning cancer-related surgical costs weigh heavily on our health care system. It will be interesting to see the future implications of these enhanced drug treatment options in terms of surgical volume and cancer costs. Whatever the case, these breakthrough research promises to alter the way that we fight and prevent cancer.

Kevin O'HaraComment