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A pretty impressive result from ASCO that’s also being published in the New England Journal of Medicine: Kisqali, a breast cancer drug from Novartis (NVS), dramatically extended survival in younger women who developed the most common form of breast cancer.

In women with hormone receptor positive/HER2 negative breast cancer who were premenopausal, adding Kisqali to hormone-blocking therapy resulted in a 29% reduction in the risk of death. After three and a half years, that translates into 70% of the women who got the combination being alive, compared to 42% of those who got the standard therapy. That’s a dramatic improvement in a disease where it is often hard to prove a survival benefit.


“Based on the fact that these are the first survival data and the only statistically significant survival data, when a patient comes into the clinic, which are we going to use?” said Dr. Sara A. Hurvitz, director of the breast cancer clinical research program at UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, the lead investigator of the study, at an ASCO press conference. “That may influence the way clinicians practice.”

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