CBCC Named Site for Expanded Breast Cancer Screening
Comprehensive Blood and Cancer Center in Bakersfield has been named the first site in the nation where breast cancer patients can obtain a promising experimental drug through an expanded access program.
Pfizer Inc. is developing the drug, called Palbociclib, which began clinical trials several years ago. CBCC participated in the trial through a research partnership with UCLA.
Five patients from Bakersfield were among 165 people who received the therapy from 2010 to 2012.
The trial went well, so the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave Palbociclib a "breakthrough therapy" designation in 2012. The designation expedites the review and approval of treatments deemed groundbreaking.
Now Pfizer is rolling the drug out again for expanded testing, and Bakersfield is the first market of several where it will be available.
Cancer is abnormal cell growth. Some breast cancers are driven by hormones and others are not. So-called "hormone positive" breast cancer accounts for about 60 percent of stage 4 cancers, or cancers that have spread beyond their point of origin.
The drug works by arresting the ability of hormone-positive cancer cells to divide and multiply.