The relentless push to develop new medications for women with breast cancer has a new potentially exciting area of research, namely the development of oral treatments that could help keep the disease at bay for years.
It is an incredible time in advancements for cancer treatment, according to Becker Hewes, the Chief Medical Officer of Blueprint Medicines. “Every year we see breakthroughs,” Hewes told SurvivorNet at the ASCO Annual Meeting. “Seeing things like breast cancer, lung cancer — the disease used to be deadly. Now people can live a full meaningful life for many years, simply by taking a pill a day.” That is the hope of Blueprint Medicines and their new experimental drug for HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer called BLU-222, which is in Phase 1/2 trial.Read More
How The New Experimental Drug WorksBLU-222 is an oral CDK2 inhibitor. A “CDK” (cyclin-dependent kinase) is a type of protein that controls cell division. A CDK inhibitor aims to stop or slow tumor cells from dividing. As a CDK2 inhibitor, BLU-222 aims to work with other effective targeted therapies like the breast cancer treatment Ribociclib (a CDK4/6 inhibitor) to further slow or stop cancer progression — even after resistance to a drug is developed. “CDK4/6 and CDK2 inhibitors are able to work with hormone blockers and really decrease the ability of breast cancer to survive,” Hewes told SurvivorNet. Some people will recognize the names here as a CDK4/6 class of drugs, which have had a major impact on treatment for breast cancer.
BLU-222 is being tested both as a “monotherapy,” meaning taken all by itself, and as a “combination” paired alongside other treatments.
What’s The Target Patient For BLU-222?
Hewes believes this oral regimen could help both newly diagnosed patients or those who have been on maintenance medication for years:
“The addition of BLU-222 standard regimens has the hope of reversing the resistance that occurs in these patients who are progressing — but also giving patients in the frontline or patients who are newly diagnosed a much longer time before their disease progresses.”
Clinical trials for the drug are currently open throughout the US. They are in their “dose escalation” phase, meaning they are testing increased amounts on trial participants to monitor for potential side effects.
According to Hewes, “there is an opportunity to both participate in our single agent trial and the combination part of the trial, as well.”
To look more into this trial and others, SurvivorNet has an expansive resource where you can search to see if there is an active trial in your area.