Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New study of targeted therapies for breast cancer -- model for global clinical trials

03.03.2008
Two targeted medications designed to treat an aggressive form of breast cancer are being tested in a new study involving 8,000 participants in 50 countries across six continents -- a clinical trial that investigators hope will provide a new model for global cancer research.

This trial, dubbed ALTTO (Adjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimization study), will be one of the first global initiatives in which two large, academic breast cancer research networks covering different parts of the world have jointly developed a study in which all care and data collection are standardized, regardless of where patients are treated.

The networks are The Breast Cancer Intergroup of North America (TBCI), based in the United States, and the Breast International Group (BIG) in Brussels, Belgium. TBCI consists of six National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded clinical trials cooperative groups. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health.

ALTTO is designed to answer the most pressing questions regarding use of two widely used cancer agents: whether one agent is more effective, which agent is safer for patients, and what benefit will be derived by taking the drugs separately, in tandem order, or together" The trial is a randomized, Phase III study, which is considered a gold standard method for proving drug effectiveness.

The two agents tested in ALTTO are drugs designed to treat HER2-positive tumors, which is a particularly aggressive form of cancer that affects approximately 20 percent to 25 percent of breast cancer patients. Both agents, trastuzumab (Herceptin) and lapatinib (Tykerb), have already been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use for treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. ALTTO will provide the first head-to-head comparison of trastuzumab and lapatinib in the earliest, most treatable stages of cancer. It will also be one of the first large-scale studies to evaluate lapatinib’s effectiveness in treating early breast cancer.

HER2-positive breast cancer is caused by an excess of HER2 genes or by over-production of its protein, the HER2 cell surface receptor. Trastuzumab consists of large antibodies that once injected into patients, latch on to the portion of the HER2 protein that sits on the outer surface of the cancer cell whereas lapatinib acts by entering a cancer cell and binding to the part of the HER2 protein that lies beneath the surface of the cell.

The trial is unusual in that it has two different designs depending on whether patients with stage I or stage II breast cancer have already been treated with chemotherapy. The study thus will compare four different regimens of targeted therapy administered over a 52-week period. Patients will be randomized to receive either trastuzumab or lapatinib alone, or trastuzumab followed by lapatinib, or the two treatments in combination.

“There have been major improvements in the management of patients with early breast cancer in the last few years, so this new study builds on this knowledge and sets an example of the new era: good science, good worldwide collaboration,” said Edith Perez, M.D., an oncologist in the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., who will lead the study for TBCI. “It may be that using two treatments that work in different ways against HER2-positive breast cancer offers a complementary strategy that is more powerful than either drug alone.”

ALTTO will be one of the first trials of its scope in which translational research -- taking science from bench to bedside -- plays a critical role, investigators say. In ALTTO, biological material will be collected from thousands of patients in order to determine a tumor profile that responds best to the drugs -- information that could lead to individualized patient care and, possibly, to development of next generation agents.

“The difference between this study and many that came before it is that the collection of biological materials occurs as the trial is being conducted, not as an afterthought. While there are exceptions, not many companies or organizations have been willing to invest in that kind of research before,” said Martine J. Piccart, M.D., Ph.D., professor of oncology at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, and lead investigator for BIG, which she founded in 1996. “Now we have the chance to optimize therapy with powerful drugs in order to provide the best treatment possible for each of our patients.”

Perez and Piccart led the development team of the ALTTO trial and will act as the study’s co-principal investigators. On behalf of BIG and TBCI, these two lead investigators have been working toward collaborative clinical studies for a number of years. The ALTTO study, they say, represents a new paradigm that blends the high standards of both systems in order to test the latest breast cancer treatments as efficiently as possible in thousands of women worldwide.

"The NCI greatly appreciates the work that Mayo Clinic, TBCI and BIG are doing to help advance our understanding of the complex mechanisms that underlie different types of breast cancer,” said Jo Anne Zujewski, M.D., a senior investigator in the clinical investigations branch at NCI. “We hope that this model of international collaboration is one which we can build upon in the future."

Lapatinib, in combination with the chemotherapy drug capecitabine, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March 2007 for the treatment of advanced or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer in patients who had received prior therapy with three agents -- an anthracycline, a taxane and Herceptin. GlaxoSmithKline is providing the study drug, as well as additional financial support for the ALTTO trial. All drugs carry potential side effects, and more information of side effects for lapatinib and trastuzumab can be found in the Q&A at http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/pressreleases/ALTTOQandA. NCI and GSK also provided comment and input on the design of the study.

NCCTG will act as the treatment base for ALTTO in North America. BIG is a network of 41 non-U.S. research groups from around the world. Its Brussels-based BrEAST Data Center is providing centralized data management for the global study (including the United States). The other members of TBCI include the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG), the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB), the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG), the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group (ACOSOG), and the National Cancer Institute of Canada Clinical Trials Group (NCIC CTG).

To date, more than 300 centers around the world have enrolled patients into ALTTO. Full enrollment is expected to involve about 500 centers in the United States and more than 800 centers in Europe and the rest of the world. A complete listing of ALTTO participating sites can be found by searching for ALTTO at http://clinicaltrials.gov.

NCI Press Officers | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nih.gov
http://clinicaltrials.gov

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

nachricht Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>