Pfizer cancer drug cuts breast cancer death risk

PHARMACEUTICAL giant Pfizer yesterday said its low-dose cancer drug abemaciclib effectively targeted and killed breast and ovarian cancer cells.

The drug reduced the risk of dying from both of the most common types of cancer by up to 40 percent when compared with similar chemotherapy treatments in an early stage of testing, US regulators said.

“We expect these data to be presented in a scientific meeting,” Pfizer’s cancer drugs chief Greg Schiffman said.

Pfizer, which makes the drug known as crizotinib, also said it was planning to run a trial in the same combination patients with advanced bladder cancer and treatment in patients with advanced renal cell cancer, and a different study in patients with advanced stomach cancer.

Abemaciclib targets tumors that have a protein called BCR-ABL, which has been associated with a majority of adult breast and ovarian cancers, Pfizer said.

“Most women with advanced breast cancer fail to respond to standard treatments and require repeat treatments. In advanced ovarian cancer, fewer than one in 10 patients respond to current therapies,” said Lindsay Sinclair, Ph.D., head of Global Research and Development, Breast Cancer, Pfizer.

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