At the University of Western Australia, researchers are having excellent luck with a new drug for breast cancer. Called palbociclib, the drug is proving effective in reducing tumors and slowing cancer growth. Patients who have had difficult to treat cancers or recurrences of cancer have seen significant improvements in clinical trials. Breast cancer is becoming a health crisis in Australia, so these results are especially welcome for the thousands of women who are diagnosed each year.
The drug works on estrogen driven cancers. In the mechanism of those cancers, estrogen drives the multiplication of the cancer cells. Palboclib shuts this process down and stops the cancerous cells from metastasizing. In the trials at the University of Western Australia about 85% of patients in trials saw their cancer shrink significantly or stop growing. Remission times were doubled as well, rising from an average of 14 months, to 28 months. Researchers are also looking into whether it will work on prostate cancer and brain cancer as well.