From OHC, Specialists in the Treatment of Adult Cancers and Blood Disorders

November 17, 2021

Breast cancer remains a significant public health problem. According to the Global Cancer Observatory (GLOBOCAN), breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide.

The most common subtype of breast cancer, hormone receptor-positive (HR+) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative (HER2-), has a favorable outcome; however, 20 percent of patients may have a recurrence of potentially incurable disease. HR+ breast cancers are those with cancer cells that receive signals from estrogen and progesterone hormones and their receptors to promote growth. HER2- cancer cells do not contain high levels of the growth-promoting protein HER2.

On October 12th, the FDA approved Verzenio in combination with endocrine therapy following surgery to treat some patients with HR+/HER2- early breast cancer. OHC’s cancer research team was part of the monarchE trial that led to the approval of Verzenio. “The results of the monarchE trial showed that more than 86% of those treated with Verzenio and endocrine therapy had not experienced recurrence after three years,” said OHC medical oncologist and hematologist, Mark E. Johns, MD.

Verzenio, an oral targeted therapy, is the first CDK 4/6 inhibitor approved for adjuvant treatment (treatment given after surgery) of breast cancer. “The drug works by blocking the CD4 and CD6 proteins on cancer cells which prevents the cells from dividing and growing,” said Dr. Johns.

Before Verzenio becomes the standard of care for this patient population, more study will need to be conducted to determine whether the therapy is preventing recurrence or purely delaying it. “The promising results of the trial point to the importance of relentless discovery through clinical trials,” noted Dr. Johns. “Because of trials like monarchE, we are able to offer another treatment option for the most common type of breast cancer. We are always searching for new treatment options to give patients hope.”

In its pursuit of a cure, OHC’s cancer research team is constantly searching for the newest, most promising treatments. For more information on OHC’s clinical trials program or to request a second opinion, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

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