The Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma is the first to enroll a patient in a phase 3 clinical trial that targets breast cancer.

ARV 71 is a new oral pill created by Pfizer to combat breast cancer, and the oral medication works by blocking estrogen receptors in a patient.

Estrogen is a hormone that is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, and principal research investigator, Dr. Eugenio Najera, explained the drug could work for the types of breast cancer that are estrogen hormone positive.

“Depending on the trial and the patient that you can get enrolled, because sometimes it can be difficult to get patients enrolled. So, it’s always rewarding to get a patient enrolled especially when it’s the first patient nationwide,” said the doctor.

If the trial is successful, it would give a new way for breast cancer patients to heal. While the trials are still going on, future trials could explore the options of combining A-R-V 71 with other medications.

“The main goal is for patients to live longer, and that’s the goal for clinical trials. You’re trying to test whatever treatment you’re using to test overall survival. Sometimes other objectives that you might have is how long do you have this cancer controlled. so overall survival for how long that person is living period, and the other is the period of time in which the cancer is controlled,” said Dr. Najera.

Other hospitals and care facilities that have followed the centers’ lead, include the University of Texas, Florida cancer specialists, and more.

Dr. Najera explained stage 4 breast cancer patients should try to take part in the trials to help fight against the deadly disease.

Side effects are still under research.

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