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 September 23, 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 September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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