Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women and is the fifth largest cause of cancer mortality worldwide
Accordingly, a substantial amount of research is geared towards investigating effective therapies.
Against this backdrop, Pfizer’s palbociclib–a cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor with high antineoplastic activity, emerged as the top drug used in 4% of breast cancer studies initiated in 2018, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
GlobalData analysed the number of clinical trials, examining breast cancer with start dates between 1 January 2018 and 16 November 2018 and found that the clinical trials involving breast cancer accounted for 10.9% of all oncology trials initiated in the specified time frame.
The majority of clinical trials were in Phase II (50.8%), with non-industry sponsors taking the lead and accounting for 57.8% of trials.
China, with 10.6% of the total clinical trials, was second only to the US (22.4%) during the review period. Biomarkers were used in 22.7% of trials, with cytokine-related biomarkers being the most commonly researched (17%).
Mohamed Abukar, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, says: “The vast majority of trials investigating palbociclib use combination therapy (83%) to assess progression-free survival. The tubulin inhibitor paclitaxel was investigated in 3.5% of clinical trials, primarily in combination regimens; only 6.3% of clinical trials investigate the agent as monotherapy, and involved comparing different routes of administration.”
An equivalent number of trials (3.5%) investigated capecitabine. Of note, F. Hoffmann-La Roche’s Phase III study focuses on early relapsing recurrent triple-negative breast cancer. Olaparib, apatinib mesylate and pembrolizumab also made the top six with an equivalent number of clinical trials (2.9%).
Abukar concludes: “Trials involving the poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib focus predominantly on metastatic breast cancer (76.9%)."
"Furthermore, all trials using the tyrosine kinase inhibitor apatinib mesylate were in Phases II or IV with locations only in China, while the majority of trials examining the antineoplastic immune-modulating agent pembrolizumab are being carried out in the US and do not span beyond Phase II.”