New clinical trial improves survival in breast cancer patients with luminal phenotype and high risk of recurrence

With the participation of the Breast Unit of the Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital and IRBLleida

The Breast Unit of the Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital of Lleida (HUAV) together with the Lleida Institute for Biomedical Research (IRBLleida) have participated in the MONARCH-E clinical trial, which demonstrates how the administration of a drug called abemaciclib, together with the hormone treatment of conventional use, can improve survival in patients operated for breast cancer with positive hormone receptors (called luminal phenotype) and a high risk of recurrence. The results of the study were recently presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology.

Today, October 19th, is World Breast Cancer Day. It is the leading cause of cancer mortality in women, closely followed by colorectal cancer. According to data from the Spanish Society for Medical Oncology (SEOM), it is estimated that by 2020 there will be 32,953 new cases of breast cancer in Spain and it is estimated that 1 in 8 Spanish women will have breast cancer at some point in their lives.

"Abemaciclib is a drug belonging to the cyclin inhibitor family which is a very important target in this type of breast cancer and has shown very encouraging results in metastatic breast cancer. We therefore wanted to study whether patients with breast cancer in early stages and after curative treatment but with a high risk of recurrence could benefit from it," explained Serafín Morales, a doctor at the Breast Unit of the Arnau de Vilanova University Hospital in Lleida.

Patients who have received this drug together with conventional hormone treatment have shown better survival compared to those who have only received conventional hormone treatment. This is one of the most relevant results of the trial, according to Morales, and the second is that "the results are already being observed after 2 years of follow-up, and therefore early relapses will be avoided, which is what leads to a worse prognosis for the patients". In the case of Lleida, 18 women participated in the clinical trial.

IRBLleida's research at the forefront of the latest advances in breast cancer
"Having a multidisciplinary breast unit and the support of IRBLleida allows us to participate in these clinical trials very efficiently and with the benefit to our patients that is our ultimate goal," said Morales, who added that "participation in clinical trials brings this benefit to our patients, which is why we have always participated in the most important trials and are part of the large breast cancer research groups at both national (GEICAM, SOLTI) and international level (NSABP, EORTC, BIG).

IRBLleida belongs to the Institution of Research Centres in Catalonia (iCERCA), which is organised according to a model of good governance and operation that ensures the efficiency, management flexibility, attraction and promotion of talent, strategic planning and executive capacity of the research centres in Catalonia.

Today is World Breast Cancer Day