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Lorraine Pace Says New Breast Cancer Drugs Bring Promise for Survivors

December 8, 2011

Lorraine Pace, Founder, Breast Cancer Help, Inc., says women who have survived breast cancer have hope, now that two recent studies revealed that two drugs have proven to be effective in the fight against breast cancer by holding off the disease for extended periods of time.

Results released at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 7 and published online at the New England Journal of Medicines showed that two drugs — pertuzumab and everolimus — were proven to hold back the disease more aggressively when given with standard treatment. Studies showed that pertuzumab, when used with standard treatment, held off breast cancer for a median of 18 months, compared to 12 months for those receiving the usual treatment.

In a second study, everolimus — which is sold commercially under the name Afinitor — was found to delay progression of the disease for a median of seven months in women whose breast cancer was progressing, despite treatment with hormone-blocking drugs. Those who only received hormonal therapy had just a three-month delay in the progression of this disease.

Ms. Pace said this is welcome news, considering that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked approval for the drug Avastin because the agency believed that the drug was not effective in the treatment of breast cancer. Her only concern is the prohibitive cost of these drugs which may not be accessible to uninsured breast cancer survivors. According to Novartis AG, which manufactures Afinitor, a one-month supply costs $11,000.

“These new medications prove to be very promising for breast cancer survivors,” she said. “I was very happy to see two drugs that can prolong the lives of breast cancer survivors. My only concern is the cost; those who do not have health insurance are unable to pay it, and for those with health insurance the question becomes whether the insurance companies will cover it. Hopefully, we will soon find a cure in the near future and we will not have to worry about our children and grandchildren getting this horrible disease; I hope to see this happen in my lifetime.”



Breast Cancer Help, Inc. • 32 Park Avenue • Bay Shore, New York 11706 • Phone: (631) 675-9003