Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Targeted therapy prolongs life in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer

Date:
December 27, 2009
Source:
Duke University Medical Center
Summary:
Lapatinib plus trastuzumab are significantly better than lapatinib alone in extending the lives of breast cancer patients whose tumors are HER2-positive, according to new research.

Lapatinib plus trastuzumab are significantly better than lapatinib alone in extending the lives of breast cancer patients whose tumors are HER2-positive, according to Kimberly Blackwell, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center. Blackwell presented the findings onDecember 11 at the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Blackwell says the combination targeted therapy gave patients more than a four-month survival advantage over those who took lapatinib alone. She says the findings may be the first step toward a chemotherapy-free future.

"This is the first time that a pair of targeted therapies has been shown to be superior to any intervention that paired a targeted therapy with a hormonal or chemotherapy based approach," she said.

The results stem from a large, Phase III clinical trial where investigators randomized 296 patients with metastatic breast cancer to receive either lapatinib (also known as Tykerb) alone or lapatinib plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) once a day. All participants had metastatic disease that had continued to spread even after treatments with several interventions that included trastuzumab plus chemotherapy.

Blackwell says trastuzumab binds to and blocks part of the HER2 growth factor that appears on the surface of some breast cancer cells while lapatinib binds to a second growth factor, EGFR, and part of HER2 that sits below the cell surface. "It's sort of a double whammy, disabling the HER2 protein in two places instead of one."

Women who enrolled in the single-agent arm of the study and whose cancer continued to spread after four weeks were allowed to cross over to the other arm of the study to continue on the combined approach.

Fifty-two percent of the women enrolled in the lapatinib-only arm of the study crossed over to the combination arm. The median overall survival following treatment with lapatinib plus trastuzumab was 60.7 weeks compared to 41.4 weeks for those who took only lapatinib.

Other researchers involved in the study include Hal Burstein, from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute; George Sledge, from Indiana University Cancer Center; Steven Stein, Catherine Ellis, and Michelle Casey, of GlaxoSmithKline; Jose Baselga, of Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain; and Joyce O'Shaughnessy from Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, Texas Oncology, PA, US Oncology, Dallas.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Duke University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Duke University Medical Center. "Targeted therapy prolongs life in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091211150324.htm>.
Duke University Medical Center. (2009, December 27). Targeted therapy prolongs life in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091211150324.htm
Duke University Medical Center. "Targeted therapy prolongs life in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091211150324.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins