Breast Cancer Rx Gets Thumbs Up from FDA

Verzenio (abemaciclib) approved to treat certain advanced breast cancer types

(RxWiki News) Just in time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a new breast cancer treatment has received approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA approved Verzenio (abemaciclib) to treat adults with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic or advanced breast cancer. The medication was approved for use in patients who have already taken endocrine therapy to treat their cancer.

Verzenio can be given by itself under certain circumstances or in combination with a type of endocrine therapy called fulvestrant, according to the FDA. The FDA reported that Verzenio works to block molecules that help cancer cells grow.

Verzenio was tested as a standalone treatment and in combination with fulvestrant in two separate trials. Almost 20 percent of patients who took only Verzenio saw their tumors shrink completely or partially. For those taking both Verzenio and fulvestrant, survival increased when compared to those who only took fulvestrant.

Common side effects tied to Verzenio included low white and red blood cell counts, infections, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, reduced appetite and headache. More serious potential side effects included blood clots, severe diarrhea and elevated liver blood tests. The FDA also noted that pregnant women shouldn't take this medication.

Talk to your health care provider about the best breast cancer treatment for you.

Eli Lilly and Company markets Verzenio.

Review Date: 
October 7, 2017