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FDA Approves Ibrance to Treat Advanced Breast Cancer

For postmenopausal women with ER+, HER2− metastatic breast cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Ibrance (palbociclib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced breast cancer among postmenopausal women.

Ibrance inhibits molecules that spur the growth of cancer cells. The drug is sanctioned for postmenopausal women with estrogen receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor 2-negative metastatic breast cancer who haven't been given an endocrine-based therapy, the FDA said. It's meant to be given in combination with Femara (letrozole).

Ibrance's effectiveness was evaluated among 165 postmenopausal women with this form of breast cancer. Those treated with Ibrance and letrozole lived about 20.2 months without disease progression, compared with about 10.2 months among women given only letrozole, the FDA said.

The most common side effects of Ibrance included neutropenia, fatigue, anemia, upper respiratory infection, nausea, hair loss, diarrhea, thrombocytopenia, loss of appetite, nerve damage, and epistaxis. Doctors should tell potential users of these risks, the FDA advised.

Ibrance is marketed by Pfizer, based in New York City.

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