Dr. Finn on the Future of Palbociclib in Breast Cancer

Richard S. Finn, MD
Published Online: Thursday, June 6, 2013
Richard Finn, MD, Division of Hematology/Oncology at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, describes the potential impact of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) 4/6 inhibitor palbociclib (PD-0332991) in the treatment of patients with ER-positive metastatic breast cancer.

Finn believes palbociclib holds the potential to be a game changer in the treatment of patients with ER-positive breast cancer. If approved, this agent would be the first indication for a CDK inhibitor. Additionally, he believes, if the magnitude of benefit observed in the phase II trial holds true in the phase III, treatment with this agent will likely become the new standard of care.

The traditional treatment approach in breast cancer involves the sequencing of several active agents across multiple lines of therapy. However, the biggest advantage is generally derived from the agents administered in the first-line. Given the significant improvement in progression-free survival of 18.6 months in the phase II trial comparing palbociclib plus letrozole to letrozole alone it is hard not to view this agent as a potential new standard of care, Finn states.

Importantly, Finn believes, treatment with palbociclib is well tolerated. This represents a huge advantage by improving efficacy without increasing toxicity and opens the door to a variety of further possibilities. The ultimate goal of research, Finn states, is to move this agent into the treatment of patients with early-stage breast cancer.

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