Mercy’s Dr. David Riseberg Discusses New Class of Breast Cancer Medications
A new class of drugs is helping women with advanced breast cancer live their lives more normally without progression of the disease.
Tammy McLean, 49, is a mother of three from Carroll County. In January of last year, she received the scary diagnosis of advanced breast cancer.
McLean was referred to Dr. David Riseberg, Chief of Medical Oncology and Hematology at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Riseberg is a top rated oncologist who is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology and Hematology.
"He immediately put me on medication," McLean said.
She was given a combination of medications, including one that blocks estrogen and another from a new class of what's known as "CDK inhibitors" that can help prevent cancer from becoming resistant to the treatment.
"They work in women with advanced breast cancer, women whose breast cancer has either come back or is not able to undergo surgery," Dr. Riseberg said.
The medications also work for postmenopausal women whose cancers have been shown to be estrogen receptor positive.
"It adds an entire year of time before the women on average need to switch to another treatment. So, that's another year of doing normal activities, enjoying time with family and doing whatever they want to do," Dr. Riseberg said.
McLean has been taking an estrogen therapy and the cdk inhibitor ibrance for almost two years.
"They've allowed me to maintain my current quality of life with just a few side effects," mclean said. "It's extended the progression, and I just take each day as it comes, and I'm hoping to get many more years of quality life out of this particular drug."
"We, oncologists, we want to offer the best new treatments available to our patients and it's awesome to have new drugs available, that's for sure," Dr. Riseberg said.
McLean said that some of her side effects are joint pain, achiness, fatigue and hair thinning, but that they are minimal and manageable.
View Dr. David Riseberg’s interview regarding treatments for breast cancer.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.