A Phase III study carried out by Novartis has demonstrated that Afinitor (everolimus) tablets coupled with exemestane can more than double the time women with breast cancer live without tumour growth.

The results of the trial also suggested that the combined therapy also helps to reduce the risk of cancer progression by 57% versus exemestane alone.

The study involved 724 postmenopausal women with ER+HER2- advanced breast cancer that recurred or progressed either on or following previous treatment with hormonal therapies letrozole or anastrozole.

The company plans to submit data from the trial for regulatory approvals by the end of 2011.