Metastatic breast cancer patient, Ana Miyares and her oncologist, Dr. Paula Klein of Beth Israel Cancer Center in New York joined me recently to discuss the disease, the recently FDA approved treatment Perjeta, additional new treatment options available for those living with metastatic breast cancer and Ana's journey with the disease.
Candace Rose: Dr. Klein, what is metastatic breast cancer, and how does it differ from other forms of the disease?
Dr. Paula Klein: "Metastatic breast cancer is advanced breast cancer. It differs from early stage breast cancer in that patients are living with advanced disease, which though highly treatable is often difficult to cure, so that's often the major difference from early stage breast cancer. "
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about the recently FDA approved treatment, Perjeta please?
Dr. Paula Klein: "My pleasure. Perjeta is an antibody for Her2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients, which is about 25% of patients living with advanced breast cancer. And when Perjeta is added to Herceptin and chemotherapy, patients are living longer and with good quality of life. The Cleopatra trial demonstrated those results and the drug was recently approved in June."
Candace Rose: Are there any other advances being made in the treatment of the disease?
Dr. Paula Klein: "Absolutely. And in all subtypes of metastatic breast cancer for Her2-positive, TDM-1 is an exciting new drug; for the ER positive, Afinitor is an exciting drug. For the triple-negative breast cancer subtype we have the new PARP inhibitors, and other new treatments coming down they pipeline. It's a very exciting time in oncology."
Candace Rose: Ana, as someone living with metastatic breast cancer, can you share your story please?
Ana Miyares: "I was diagnosed on September of 2009, I went to see Dr. Klein she explained what stage four cancer was and she also told me about the different options and treatments that were out there for me, and told me about this trial and I just looked at her when she asked me 'how long do you want to live'? She was so positive that I said 'this is the doctor for me'. I trust her, and I just jumped into the trial and I've been living a normal life with quality, and my life has been prolonged. Pretty soon it'll be three years."
Candace Rose: How are you doing now?
Ana Miyares: "I feel great. I feel better now than I felt before I was diagnosed."
Candace Rose: Do you (both) have any additional information you'd like to share with viewers?
Dr. Paula Klein: "I think patients living with metastatic breast cancer should of course be asking their oncologists what's new in and exciting, but for those that are Her2-positive and are interested in learning about Perjeta, you can go to the website: www.Perjeta.com."
Candace Rose: Thank you both so much for joining me, I appreciate it; all my best to both of you.