A cause for celebration: FDA fast-tracks breast cancer drug

What’s more exciting than World Cancer Day, on Feb. 4, a day that shines a light on this dreadful, life-killing disease?

The answer is the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval on Tuesday of a ground-breaking drug for those who suffer with advanced, metastatic breast cancer.

The drug is Ibrance, (palbociclib), and I am proud to say that the Noreen Fraser Foundation (NFF) has been recognized as a group that has put faith along with resources into the development of this drug.

When I heard about the preliminary research for Ibrance, my intuition told me we had to get this drug on the market to help save the women who are suffering. My doctors, Dr. Dennis Slamon and Dr. John Glaspy, at the University of California, Los Angeles are actually the ones conducting the study.

Remarkably, Dr. Slamon was the first to identify the HER2/neu oncogene, which led to the development of the drug Herceptin was born. His discovery is thought to be one of the biggest breakthroughs in breast cancer treatment in recent history.

Needless to say, I carefully followed Dr. Slamon and Dr. Glaspy’s progress with Ibrance. Pfizer eventually saw the genius of their research and took on the development challenge of committing $190 million to get the drug on the market.

The clinical trials were so successful that the FDA agreed to fast-track the drug. We did not think it would be available to the public until next year, but yahoo sisters, it is here!

Just when I feel like giving up, either because I’m not feeling well or simply am exhausted, I pull myself together, have a pep-talk and wrestle myself to the ground, until I agree to myself to push forward. Even when I’d rather jet-set to some exotic South Pacific island to bask in the sun, I resolve to persevere.

Damn this cancer. How dare you take our loved ones from us? We hate you, and we will fight you to the death— your death, not ours!

Visit the FDA website to learn more about Ibrance.