Doctors often struggle with treating advanced stages of breast cancer, especially Triple Negative Breast Cancer, TNBC. When the tumor is located in a confined area, it is relatively easier to treat with surgery and chemotherapy. However, when it spreads throughout the body, things get complicated.
Fortunately, ongoing research revealed a new drug that could potentially help thousands of patients with advanced stages of breast cancer.
In this article, we will briefly define Trilaciclib then discuss its mechanism of action, as well as the results of clinical trial in Triple Negative Breast Cancer, TNBC.
What Is Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?
Triple-negative breast cancer is a kind of breast cancer that does not have any of the receptors that are commonly found in breast cancer, i.e. estrogen, progesterone and human epidermal growth factor (HER2). This makes it more aggressive and difficult to treat.
Triple Negative Breast Cancer occurs in about 15% of diagnosed breast cancers.
What is COSELA™ (Trilaciclib)?
Trilaciclib is a biological drug sold under the brand name COSELA. The drug is approved and used to lower the frequency of bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy.
Common side effects of taking this drug include:
- Hypocalcemia (i.e., low levels of calcium)
- Hypokalemia (i.e., low levels of potassium)
- Hypophosphatemia (i.e., low levels of phosphate)
How does Trilaciclib work?
Trilaciclib works by inhibiting molecules known as cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDK4/6). As a result of this action, the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells halts in an early phase of cell division.
Additionally, Trilaciclib induces programmed death (i.e., apoptosis) in cancerous cells, which is the core of every antitumor treatment.
In summary, this drug stops the growth of cancer cells through a complex cascade of biological reactions.
The good news is that recent evidence suggests the effectiveness of this drug in the treatment of advanced stages of triple negative breast cancer (more on that next)!
The results of clinical trials in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medical use of Trilaciclib back in February 2021 to lower the incidence of bone marrow suppression.
Recently, the drug received a Fast Track Designation by the FDA in combination with chemotherapy to treat patients with locally advanced or metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC).
Currently, the drug is part of phase III clinical trial, with high epidemiological standards to figure out the impact of this drug on patients with TNBC who previously received chemotherapy.
We should note that the Fast Track Designation indicates the great effectiveness of this medication and the need for innovative solutions to help TNBC patients.
The results that pushed the FDA to approve this drug were collected from a phase II trial that examined the effects of Trilaciclib on patients with metastatic TNBC before treatment with chemotherapy. The drug provided significant survival benefits, with a Progression-Free Survival (PFS) of 9 months. Patients who received chemotherapy alone had a PFS of 5.7 months. PFS is the time from the start of the treatment until the disease progresses, worsen.
As for the overall survival (OS), the results demonstrated:
- A median Survival of 19.8 in patients who received Trilaciclib with chemotherapy
- A median Survival of 12.6 in patients who received chemotherapy alone
Hopefully, the phase III clinical trial will confirm these findings to help patients with advanced cases of triple negative breast cancer.
Takeaway for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer patients
We hope that this article managed to highlight the potential benefits offered by Trilaciclib to cancer patients with TNBC in advanced stages.
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