Patrick I. Borgen, MD, chair, Department of Surgery, director, Breast Cancer, Maimonides Medical Center, discusses the equivalence of biosimilars in oncology.
Patrick I. Borgen, MD, chairman of surgery, director of the Breast Cancer Program, Maimonides Medical Center, discusses the equivalence of biosimilars to generics in oncology.
Biosimilars are still an open question in the treatment paradigm as several agents have been FDA approved, but have not yet hit the market. On paper, biosimilars look highly effective in cost reduction and similarity, Borgen says. Further evaluation in large phase III trials will be the key to potential success for this class of agents, Borgen notes; however, conducting these trials is not always ethical.
In terms of equivalence, it is important to look at generic biologics for a better understanding of caveats. Biologics may fall under the same class, but they differ in toxicity profile and efficacy. For example, a patient with breast cancer who progresses on anastrozole may respond to exemestane (Aromasin), and these are both aromatase inhibitors. Therefore, until more research is conducted, the question of biosimilars will remain unanswered, Borgen concludes.