POETIC-A: A trial of hormone therapy and abemaciclib for early breast cancer
What is the study about?
POETIC-A is investigating whether adding a new drug alongside standard treatment reduces the chance of early breast cancer returning.
Naturally occurring hormones can encourage the growth of breast cancer. People with oestrogen sensitive cancers receive hormone therapy to reduce the effect of oestrogen.
Aromatase inhibitors are a type of hormone therapy which is used after people have gone through menopause. These are usually given for five years after people have completed their initial breast cancer treatments (surgery, radiotherapy and sometimes chemotherapy). Although aromatase inhibitors work for most people, they can stop working as well if people have cancer that is less sensitive to hormone therapy. This means that these cancers may have a higher risk of coming back despite people taking aromatase inhibitors.
POETIC-A is investigating whether adding the drug abemaciclib alongside hormone therapy can help prevent higher risk early breast cancer from returning. Abemaciclib works by blocking molecules which encourage cancer cells to grow and divide.
POETIC-A has two parts:
- Part 1 uses samples from peoples’ breast cancer surgery to assess their cancer’s sensitivity to hormone therapy.
- Part 2 is the treatment part of the trial. People whose cancer is found to not be very sensitive to hormone therapy will be invited to join this part.
POETIC-A investigates whether giving abemaciclib in combination with aromatase inhibitors helps reduce the chance of early breast cancer with low sensitivity to hormone therapy from returning.