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Profile of palbociclib in the treatment of metastatic breast cancer

Authors Ehab M, Elbaz M

Received 16 February 2016

Accepted for publication 1 April 2016

Published 17 May 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 83—91


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Pranela Rameshwar

Moataz Ehab,1 Mohamad Elbaz2,3

1Department of Pharmacy Practice, 2Department of Pharmacology, Pharmacy School, Helwan University, Egypt; 3Department of Pathology, The Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA

Abstract: Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women. Each year, thousands die either because of disease progression or failure of treatment. Breast cancer is classified into different subtypes based on the molecular expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor, and/or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). These receptors represent important therapeutic targets either through monoclonal antibodies or through small-molecule inhibitors directed toward them. However, up to 40% of patients develop either a primary or a secondary resistance to the current treatments. Therefore, there is an urgent need for investigating new targets in order to overcome the resistance and/or enhance the current therapies. Cell cycle is altered in many human cancers, especially in breast cancer. Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs), especially CDK4 and CDK6, play a pivotal role in cell cycle progression that makes them potential targets for new promising therapies. CDK inhibition has shown strong antitumor activities, ranging from cytostatic antiproliferative effects to synergistic effects in combination with other antitumor drugs. In order to overcome the drawbacks of the first-generation CDK inhibitors, recently, new CDK inhibitors have emerged that are more selective to CDK4 and CDK6 such as palbociclib, which is the most advanced CDK4/6 inhibitor in trials. In preclinical studies, palbociclib has shown a very promising antitumor activity, especially against ERα+ breast cancer subtype. Palbociclib has gained world attention, and US the Food and Drug Administration has accelerated its approval for first-line treatment in combination with letrozole for the first-line systematic treatment of postmenopausal women with ERα+/HER2− locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer. In this review, we discuss the potential role of CDK inhibition in breast cancer treatment, and focus on palbociclib progress from preclinical studies to clinical trials with mentioning the most recent ongoing as well as planned Phase II and Phase III trials of palbociclib in advanced breast cancer.

Keywords: cyclin-dependent kinases, cell cycle, metastatic breast cancer, PD0332991

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