September 26, 2011- Novartis announced that its drug Afinitor that treats kidney disease and cancer was able to prevent the worsening of breast cancer in a recent study. The drug maker will use the results of the study when it applies for approval by drug regulators.
The study followed women whose tumors had spread following treatment. With patients that used Afinitor, the timeframe before the cancer worsened was more than doubled compared to patients that used Aromasion, a Pfizer drug.
The results were presented in Stockholm Monday at a cancer conference. The study was scheduled to last for a long period but was cut short due to the primary goal being met sooner than was expected.
The head of the study, Jose Baselga, a medical school professor at Harvard and chief of oncology and hematology at Massachusetts General Hospital said, “This could be a game changer.” Adding, “he does not remember s study with this type patient population that had such an effect, it’s exciting.”
The new findings will help the Swiss drug maker get closer to marketing the drug for another type of tumor. Afinitor currently is approved to treat three types of tumors. The company will try for regulatory approval later this year to be used as a treatment for breast cancer and hopes to have it in the market for both Europe and the United States before the end of 2012.