Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Combining 2 anti-HER2 drugs may provide better preoperative breast cancer treatment

17.01.2012
Using two drugs that inhibit the growth factor HER2 for preoperative treatment of early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer appears to have better results than treatment with a single agent.

In a report in the January 17 issue of The Lancet, an international research team reports that a protocol adding lapatinib (Tykerb) to trastuzumab (Herceptin) was more effective than single-drug treatment with either drug in eliminating microscopic signs of cancer at the time the tumors were surgically removed.

"This is the first demonstration that adding a second anti-HER2 therapy, lapatinib, to trastuzumab is superior to trastuzumab alone in patients with early breast cancer," says José Baselga, MD, PhD, chief of Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center, who led the study. "It opens up the concept of dual HER2 blockade as a better approach for patients with early, non-metastatic, HER2 breast cancer."

Approximately 20 to 30 percent of breast cancers are driven by overexpression of HER2, and such tumors are particularly aggressive. Both trastuzumab and lapatinib are agents that target HER2 and have been shown to improve the outcome of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. Trastuzumab is currently approved in the U.S. for postoperative treatment and in Europe for both pre- and postoperative therapy; lapatinib is used in combination with chemotherapy for patients whose tumors have stopped responding to trastuzumab. Since the two drugs have different mechanisms of action, combination therapy is being investigated to reduce the development of treatment-resistant disease.

The current investigation – the NeoAdjuvant Lapatinib and/or Trastuzumab Treatment Optimization (NeoALTTO) study – enrolled 455 patients in 23 countries. Participants had early-stage, nonmetastatic HER2-positive breast tumors that had not yet been treated and were randomized to one of three treatment arms: anti-HER2 treatment with either intravenous trastuzumab, oral lapatinib or both for 6 weeks. For all participants the same anti-HER2 therapy was continued for another 12 weeks, with the addition of a weekly dose of paclitaxel (Taxol). Tumors were removed surgically within 4 weeks of the last paclitaxel dose. At the completion of surgery, patients received additional chemotherapy and then continued to receive the same anti-HER2 therapy, for a total of one year of anti-HER2 treatment.

More than half the participants receiving combined anti-HER2 therapy achieved a pathological complete response, which means is they had no visible cancer cells in pathologic samples of the removed tissue, a standard measure of the success of preoperative – also called neoadjuvant – therapy. Similar results were seen in less than a third of those receiving a single anti-HER2 agent. The impact of these protocols on patients' postsurgical survival will be reported in a future study. The authors conclude that, compared to the standard trastuzumab treatment, the combined approach statistically improved the rate of complete remissions.

"We are also conducting a companion study, comparing dual HER2 blockade to single-drug therapy in adjuvant [postoperative] treatment of 8,000 patients," Baselga says. "If that study's results confirm our current findings, the implications could be profound for the way we design clinical trials, suggesting that we could answer important questions with much smaller trials." Baselga is a professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The study was supported by GlaxoSmithKline, which manufactures lapatinib.

Massachusetts General Hospital (www.massgeneral.org), founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the United States, with an annual research budget of more than $750 million and major research centers in AIDS, cardiovascular research, cancer, computational and integrative biology, cutaneous biology, human genetics, medical imaging, neurodegenerative disorders, regenerative medicine, reproductive biology, systems biology, transplantation biology and photomedicine.

Katie Marquedant | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.massgeneral.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Using fragment-based approaches to discover new antibiotics
21.06.2018 | SLAS (Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening)

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Better model of water under extreme conditions could aid understanding of Earth's mantle

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

What are the effects of coral reef marine protected areas?

21.06.2018 | Life Sciences

The Janus head of the South Asian monsoon

21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>