Lack of access to CDK4/6 inhibitors for premenopausal patients with metastatic breast cancer in Brazil: estimation of the number of premature deaths

30 Jul 2020
Tomás Reinert, Rodrigo Pellegrini, Carlos Henrique Barrios

Purpose: A CDK4/6 inhibitor (CDK4/6i) combined with endocrine therapy is the standard of care for patients with hormone receptor-positive (HR ) and HER2-negative (HER2-) metastatic breast cancer (MBC). However, the incorporation of these agents into clinical practice remains challenging. This study aims to estimate the impact of the lack of access to ribociclib on mortality of premenopausal patients with MBC in Brazil.

Methods: Based on published epidemiological studies and national cancer registries, we estimated the number of premenopausal patients with potential indication of ribociclib as first-line treatment for MBC. Efficacy estimates were based on results from the Monaleesa-7 trial. Our analysis is made under the unrealistic assumption that all premenopausal MBC patients would be candidates for the treatment. To estimate the number of yearly premature deaths that could be prevented, we considered the largest absolute effect on mortality when sequentially applying the observed hazard ratio.

Results: We estimated an annual incidence of 4,294 premenopausal HR , HER2- MBC patients in Brazil. Considering these patients, at 12, 24 and 60 months, the number of surviving subjects would be 3,504, 2,859 and 1,553 for endocrine therapy (ET) alone; and 3,717, 3,217 and 2,086 for ET plus ribociclib. The largest difference between both groups was observed at the end of the sixth year when the use of ribociclib would prevent 538 premature deaths (survival of 1,805 versus 1,267 patients by the 72nd month).

Conclusion: We estimate that lack of access to CDK4/6i for patients with HR , HER2-, MBC will cause the premature death of a significant number of premenopausal women with MBC. The unavailability of effective therapies has measurable consequences. Progress in this area demands a concerted effort to prevent further loss of lives.

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