Bryan, Garnier & Co’s yearly oncology event and report in association L’Institut Marie Curie
Last week, we held a meeting with Prof. Goldwasser (Cochin Hospital, Paris), an oncologist who agreed to make a full review of developments in his specialty, with a focus post the SABCS congress on breast cancer drugs. Thus we think, following these comments, that Roche is still perceived as the very first to bring innovations in the field, with a couple of real breakthroughs, namely Zelboraf in melanoma and pertuzumab in breast cancer. Avastin in ovary, Afinitor in breast but also alpharadin and semuloparin were also presented as key advances.
Impressive phase III data for pertuzumab. Echoing the former standing ovation for Herceptin in adjuvant breast, phase III data for pertuzumab were equally impressive at SABCS according to Prof. Goldwasser who predicts it will be largely adopted as a new standard including for adjuvant treatment. We are increasing our expectations for the drug. As for T-DM1, the oncologist was less impressed because it less well corresponds to a need considering frequent changes required in the cocktail. The other very nice opportunity for breast is Afinitor, which he considers will be even more quickly adopted given it is oral and delays the need for chemotherapy in otherwise healthy patients.
Zelboraf is another game-changing medicine. This was highlighted by Prof. Goldwasser as being very impressive in its efficacy and its onset of action. Adoption should be rapid and it can be expected that other indications will be successfully developed, starting with thyroid cancer, bringing the drug to another level. We are increasing our expectations for Zelboraf as a result. Yervoy is much less interesting for the physician.
Cancer to be treated as a chronic disease? Beyond specific products, what was also interesting to hear was oncology practice is likely to change because cancer will be increasingly treated as a chronic disease with more attention to quality of life. Metastases will therefore be key targets for new treatments like alpharadin. Semuloparin could also well find its place, although it is up to anaesthetists to take care of thrombo-embolic risks.