Back to Journals » Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy » Volume 12

Fulvestrant in Combination with CDK4/6 Inhibitors for HER2- Metastatic Breast Cancers: Current Perspectives

Authors Iorfida M, Mazza M, Munzone E

Received 8 November 2019

Accepted for publication 8 February 2020

Published 18 March 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 45—56


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Monica Iorfida, Manuelita Mazza, Elisabetta Munzone

Division of Medical Senology, European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS, Milano 20141, Italy

Correspondence: Elisabetta Munzone
Division of Medical Senology, European Institute of Oncology, IRCCS, via Ripamonti 435, Milano 20141, Italy
Tel +39 02 57489970

Abstract: The development of CDK 4/6 inhibitors has dramatically changed the therapeutic management of hormone receptor-positive (HR+) and HER2 negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC). In combination with fulvestrant, palbociclib, ribociclib and abemaciclib have each been approved for HR+/HER2- MBC following the results of randomized Phase III studies (PALOMA-3, MONALEESA-3, MONARCH-2) and shown a significant advantage in PFS. Data from clinical trials support the combination with aromatase inhibitors in the first line setting and with fulvestrant in the second line. Each agent is well tolerated, and most of the toxicities observed with this class of drugs are generally easily manageable and free from particular complications. The latest evidence from MONARCH-2 and MONALEESA-3 trials shows benefits in terms of overall survival (OS), suggesting an option of using fulvestrant in combination with CDK 4/6 inhibitors in the first line setting. Additional research is needed to determine optimal treatment sequencing, understand the mechanisms of resistance, and develop novel therapeutic strategies to overcome clinical resistance and further improve the outcomes of patients with HR+/HER- MBC. Key questions in the field include the further impact on progression-free survival, overall survival, and the role of continuing CDK 4/6 blockade beyond progression. The purpose of this review is to describe the clinical relevance of fulvestrant in combination with CDK 4/6 inhibitors in HR+/HER2- MBC patients, as well as to discuss the current controversies and evolving research areas.

Keywords: metastatic breast cancer, cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6, fulvestrant, clinical trials, resistance mechanisms, palbociclib, ribociclib, abemaciclib

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]