News Health/Medical Approval of New Breast Cancer Drug: A Beacon of Hope

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Approval of New Breast Cancer Drug Gives 'More Hope' to Patients

By Laura Fletcher

Published on May 13, 2024


Sharon Greeves, diagnosed with oestrogen-driven breast cancer in 2020, received the best news recently: the Health Service Executive (HSE) approved the new breast cancer treatment drug abemaciclib. This approval brings hope to patients like Sharon who face a high risk of cancer recurrence.

The Common Type of Breast Cancer

Oncologists estimate that around 70% of breast cancer cases fall into the oestrogen-driven subtype. However, Sharon discovered that her cancer belonged to a smaller sub-group with a high risk of returning.

Sharon's Treatment Journey

After multiple surgeries and now cancer-free, Sharon has been on a ten-year hormone therapy treatment plan, taking anastrozole. Her high-risk status necessitates this extended duration of treatment.

Abemaciclib: A Game Changer

Abemaciclib, manufactured by Lilly Global Manufacturing, was previously available in the United Kingdom. It is taken in combination with endocrine or hormone therapies, enhancing their effectiveness. According to a large international trial, this combination reduces the risk of long-term cancer recurrence by 32%.

Hope for Patients

Now that abemaciclib is approved by the HSE, it will be available on prescription for Irish patients with high-risk oestrogen-driven breast cancer. Sharon sums it up: "This is just fantastic news. Even if I'm not a candidate, it is fantastic news in terms of reducing the risk—by 30%. It's huge."

When facing a cancer diagnosis, hope becomes a lifeline. With this new drug, patients like Sharon have an even better chance.

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