Experimental Alpelisib May Help Treat Advanced-Stage, Hormone-Receptor-Positive, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer With Specific Mutation


The experimental medicine alpelisib combined with the hormonal therapy medicine Faslodex (chemical name: fulvestrant) improved progression-free survival more than Faslodex alone in people diagnosed with advanced-stage, hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer with a PIK3CA mutation.

The research was presented on Oct. 22, 2018, at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2018 Congress. Read the abstract of “Alpelisib (ALP) + fulvestrant (FUL) for advanced breast cancer (ABC): results of the Phase 3 SOLAR-1 trial.”

About alpelisib and Faslodex

Alpelisib is an experimental targeted therapy medicine that inhibits the PI3K pathway. The PI3K pathway helps all cells — both healthy and cancer cells — get the energy they need. When this pathway is overactivated because of a mutation in the PIK3CA gene, it can allow cancer cells to survive and grow. PI3K inhibitors block this pathway, with the goal of killing cancer cells.

Alpelisib is a pill taken by mouth.

Different mutations in the PIK3CA gene make different forms of the PI3 protein, called isoforms by researchers. There are several isoforms of PI3; one of them is the alpha isoform. Alpelisib specifically targets the alpha isoform.

2016 research on experimental buparlisib, another PI3K inhibitor, found that buparlisib combined with Faslodex also increased progression-free survival in postmenopausal women diagnosed with advanced-stage, hormone-receptor-positive, HER-negative breast cancer. Buparlisib targeted four isoforms of PI3, and researchers believe this is why buparlisib caused a number of severe, unacceptable side effects, including mood disorders and suicide attempts. So research on buparlisib was stopped.

Because alpelisib targets onl…

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