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Safe To Treat HER2-positive Breast Cancer With Trastuzumab And Adjuvant Radiation, Study Finds

Date:
November 3, 2009
Source:
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Summary:
Standard adjuvant treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer patients, following primary surgery for their cancer, is trastuzumab (herceptin) -- typically used in combination with chemotherapy. However, a new study reports that it may be safe to treat these patients with both trastuzumab and adjuvant radiation therapy.

Standard adjuvant treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer patients, following primary surgery for their cancer, is Trastuzumab (Herceptin)--typically used in combination with chemotherapy. However, a new study by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center reports that it may be safe to treat these patients with both Trastuzumab and adjuvant radiation therapy.

The study will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

"Our study evaluated the skin toxicity and early cardiac toxicity of concurrent Trastuzumab and radiation therapy treatment in the adjuvant setting," says Penny Anderson, M.D., radiation oncologist at Fox Chase and lead author on the study. "We found that there was an extremely low rate of acute radiation dermatitis and cardiac toxicity in patients who received this type of treatment."

The study followed 85 breast cancer patients who received adjuvant Trastuzumab while also receiving a course of adjuvant radiation therapy, as well as 85 breast cancer patients who only received adjuvant radiation therapy. Acute dermatitis was grade 2 in 15% and grade 3 in 2% of the patients receiving concurrent treatment, likewise grade 2 and grade 3 dermatitis was observed in 14% and 2 % of patients only receiving radiation therapy--there was only one patient who developed a grade > 2. There were no differences in cardiac toxicity between the two groups.

"The results of this study show that it is safe to use both Trastuzumab and radiation therapy in an adjuvant setting, when clinically indicated," adds Anderson. "We would like to see longer follow-up to evaluate the potential differences in late cardiac toxicity."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fox Chase Cancer Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Safe To Treat HER2-positive Breast Cancer With Trastuzumab And Adjuvant Radiation, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 November 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102242.htm>.
Fox Chase Cancer Center. (2009, November 3). Safe To Treat HER2-positive Breast Cancer With Trastuzumab And Adjuvant Radiation, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102242.htm
Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Safe To Treat HER2-positive Breast Cancer With Trastuzumab And Adjuvant Radiation, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091103102242.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

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