Fight Breast Cancer With Advanced Treatment
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among Indian women. Breast cancer develops when some breast cells grow abnormally. These cells divide faster than healthy cells and continue to clump together to create a lump or mass. The cells may spread to the lymph nodes or other body regions (metastasize). Breast cancer is most commonly caused by cells in the milk-producing ducts (invasive ductal carcinoma), glandular tissue called lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma), or other cells or tissue within the breast.
A complicated interplay between genetic makeup and environmental variables likely causes breast cancer. The risk factors include hormonal, lifestyle, and environmental factors. From new rapid cancer screening technologies to cancer vaccines, breast cancer prevention, detection, and treatment continue to improve and are in development. This blog will emphasize the recent advancement in breast cancer treatment.
Treatments for Metastatic Breast Cancer
A treatment chart includes a summary of your disease and the anticipated treatment. Treating breast cancer is a multidisciplinary approach where physicians from diverse healthcare fields work together to create a treatment plan for every individual. The multidisciplinary care teams typically include medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, and pathologists. The treatments for metastatic breast cancer vary from one individual to another. The care plan includes any of the following or a combination of existing treatments.
- Targeted therapy
- Hormonal therapy
New Advances in Breast Cancer Therapy
New therapies target breast tumors, utilizing the cellular receptor subtype. The major breast cancer subtypes are Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 positive (HER2+), triple-negative (TN), and hormone-receptor positive (HR+).
About 74% of all breast cancer cases are of the HR+ subtype, which includes tumors that are progesterone receptor-positive (PR+) and estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) in nature. The HER2 receptor protein is overexpressed in HER2+ cancer. HER2 receptors, progesterone, and estrogen are absent in TN cancer. The outcomes of cutting-edge therapies, such as novel forms of immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and experimental targeted medications, were reported in the latest research.
HR-Positive (HR+) Breast Cancer Treatment
The mainstay of treatment for HR-positive (HR+) tumors has been hormone therapy. Hormone-sensitive breast cancers are treated with hormone therapy, which is perhaps more accurately referred to as hormone-blocking therapy. However, there is a stronger focus on combining hormone therapy with targeted medicines for advanced or metastatic HR-positive malignancies. These treatments could prolong the time until chemotherapy is needed and, ideally, extend survival. Palbociclib, ribociclib, and everolimus have all been approved by the FDA for use with hormone therapy for the treatments for metastatic breast cancer and have transformed the standard of cancer care. Ribociclib has been shown to increase the survival of patients with metastatic breast cancer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved abemaciclib in October 2021 to treat certain patients with early-stage HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer who have had surgery. It may be given before or after hormone therapy. Another milestone in advanced breast cancer treatment is the approval of alpelisib for treating advanced or metastatic HR-positive, HER2-negative breast tumors with a mutation in the PIK3CA gene.
HER2-Positive (HER2+) Breast Cancer Treatment
The FDA approves several targeted treatments for treating HER2-positive breast cancer, including trastuzumab which has been approved for treatment in patients with early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer in order to stop a relapse. Metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer is treated with pertuzumab, also used as neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy.
When chemotherapy is used in combination with trastuzumab and pertuzumab, it can help prevent relapse in early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer patients. Both are combined to treat metastatic disease, prolong overall survival, and prevent disease progression.
For HER2-positive breast cancer that cannot be surgically excised or has spread, trastuzumab and capecitabine are approved for use in combination. Because tucatinib can pass across the blood-brain barrier, it is particularly helpful for treating metastatic breast cancer that is HER2-positive and has a tendency to spread to the brain.
Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is approved to treat Patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have already undergone trastuzumab and a taxane.
Triple-Negative (TN) Breast Cancer Treatment
Triple-negative breast tumors (TNBC) are the most difficult to treat because they lack both hormone receptors and HER2 overexpression and do not react to medicines that target these targets. Chemotherapy is the cornerstone of TNBC treatment. New therapies, though, are starting to become accessible.
For treating patients with TNBC that has spread to other body parts, sactuzumab govitecan was approved. Before getting the medication, the patient must have had at least two other therapies. Patients with locally advanced or metastatic TNBC with the PD-L1 protein are treated with the immunotherapy medication pembrolizumab with chemotherapy. Patients with early-stage TNBC may also use it, regardless of PD-L1 status. For patients who have inherited a harmful BRCA gene mutation, PARP inhibitors, such as olaparib and talazoparib are used to treat metastatic HER2-negative or triple-negative breast cancer. In a subgroup of TNBC that expresses the androgen receptor, medications that block androgen receptors or stop the generation of testosterone are being tested.
HER2-Low Breast Cancer
More than half of all metastatic breast tumors belong to a newly identified subgroup called HER2-low. Tumors that have reduced levels of the HER2 protein on their surface are referred to as HER2-low tumors. Due to their inability to be treated by HER2-targeting medications, these tumors have generally been labeled HER2-negative. Trastuzumab deruxtecan showed remarkable survival in a recent clinical trial compared to chemotherapy for patients with HER2-low breast cancer. It just got accelerated permission for treatments for metastatic breast cancer.
FDA approved the first targeted therapy on August 5, 2022, For patients with HER2-low breast cancer that has progressed to other regions of the body and cannot be surgically removed. Although there is no known cure for metastatic breast cancer, newly targeted medicines, such as trastuzumab deruxtecan, that restrict tumor growth without destroying normal cells, have revolutionized advanced breast cancer treatment outcomes
In A Nutshell
According to the cancer registry in India, approximately 2 lakh new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed every year; the prevalence of breast cancer has outdistanced cervical cancer and has become the number one cancer among Indian females. Finding new and more effective ways to detect and treat breast cancer is a constant goal for scientists. They have achieved several incredible advancements in areas ranging from advanced testing to nanotechnology. On one side, with continuous advancements, the good news is the treatment for breast cancer in India has become unbelievably cheaper since the palbociclib patent news.