Today we interview Dr. Ana López, Medical Oncologist at the Complejo Asistencial Universitario de León in the Breast Unit, regarding the REVERT study, a phase II, randomized, multicenter trial to evaluate the efficacy of eribulin in monotherapy and eribulin in combination with endocrine therapy in patients with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer after progression to endocrine therapy.
Could you tell us about your experience participating in clinical trials? Like for example, how long have you been involved, what types of cancer do you work on, etc.?
I did my residency at the Puerta de Hierro-Majadahonda Hospital, which has extensive experience in the field of clinical research and a large clinical trials unit. There, I was primarily involved in lung cancer clinical trials and started to become familiar with the work dynamics of conducting trials.
In addition, during my third year of residency, I did a stay abroad at the Oncological Institute of the Italian Swizzera in Bellinzona (Switzerland) and was able to carry out a specific rotation in phase I clinical trials in their drug development and trials unit.
When I joined the León Medical Oncology Service, I began to participate in phase II and III trials in breast cancer, a field in which I specialized in the first years of adjunct, and supporting trials involving lung cancer when necessary.
What benefits can the REVERT study provide? Taking into account that it is a study evaluating the efficacy of eribulin monotherapy treatment versus its combination with endocrine therapy, in patients with advanced metastatic breast cancer.
Since data on increased toxicity from combining tamoxifen with chemotherapy were published in the late 1990s, without a clear survival benefit, the combination of chemo and hormone therapy has been abandoned in metastatic breast cancer.
One of the mechanisms of resistance to aromatase inhibitors occurs in the epithelial mesenchymal transition, that is, in the acquisition of mesenchymal characteristics of the initially epithelial cells. Preclinical studies demonstrate the ability of eribulin to reverse this process. For this reason, I think that it may be interesting to know if the progression of aromatase inhibitors makes sense to keep them reversing their resistance mechanisms or not.
How does REVERT differ from other similar clinical trials?
In other hormone-sensitive tumors, such as prostate cancer, the combination of chemo and hormone therapy is used. The REVERT trial gives us the opportunity to explore this pathway in metastatic breast cancer, with other treatments used after tamoxifen, such as aromatase inhibitors and eribulin.
In relation to clinical trials promoted by researchers (such as REVERT), from your point of view, why would they be so important?
It is always a good idea to have clinical investigators, the ones who sit in front of the patient and know their needs.
How long have you collaborated with MEDSIR and how has your experience working with us been?
My collaboration with MEDSIR started very recent. We began collaborating a couple of years ago and the experience has been very enriching. MEDSIR listens to the researchers who work with them and gives us the opportunity to participate in interesting clinical trials at hospitals like mine, in which we have magnificent professionals who are eager to work and are highly motivated.
What could you say MEDSIR gives you that other companies do not? And how does MEDSIR help researchers?
It brings us up close and provides an open door to take part in clinical research. The best way in which it helps us researchers is by allowing us to participate in clinical trials, including young oncologists who want to continue growing in our specialty and training in the field of research.
If you also want to collaborate with us or are interested in developing an oncological idea that you cannot get out of your head do not hesitate to contact us. We will do our best to carry out the project and thus continue to improve the lives of cancer patients.