Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Advanced breast cancer: Benefits of Trastuzumab (Herceptin) outweigh the risk of harm

Date:
June 12, 2014
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
In women with advanced (or metastatic) breast cancer, treatment with the breast cancer drug Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is associated with prolonged survival but also increases the risk of developing heart problems, a new systematic review shows. However, the review concludes that more women benefit from use of Trastuzumab than are harmed.

In women with advanced (or metastatic) breast cancer, treatment with the breast cancer drug Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) is associated with prolonged survival but also increases the risk of developing heart problems, a new systematic review shows. However, the review, published in The Cochrane Library, concludes that more women benefit from use of Trastuzumab than are harmed.

Related Articles


The review focuses on treatment for women with advanced stage breast cancer who have tested HER2-positive. About 1 in 5 women with breast cancer are HER2-positive. HER2 is a protein on the surface of breast cells called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. It encourages tumour cells to grow and divide. The prognosis for HER2-positive patients is usually worse because the high levels of HER2 on their tumour cells make their cancer more aggressive.

The antibody-based drug Trastuzumab is designed to target these specific types of tumours. It has been recommended for treating women who have HER2-positive advanced breast cancer since 1998 in the US and 2002 in the UK.

The authors reviewed data from seven trials involving a total of 1,497 HER2-positive women with metastatic breast cancer, meaning their cancer could be treated but not cured. The women were given Trastuzumab in combination with other drugs, either as a first-line treatment or later therapy, when their cancer had progressed.

Overall survival rates two years after starting the trials were higher for women who were given Trastuzumab than for those on regimens that did not include the drug. Women on Trastuzumab also gained another two to eleven months without further progression of their cancers. The drug was most effective when it was used as a first-line treatment or in combination with the chemotherapy drug class called taxanes.

"This review suggests that, for women with advanced breast cancer, Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) has been linked to significant life expectancy gains," said Lorenzo Moja, one of the authors of the review, based at the Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health at the University of Milan in Milan, Italy. "We found that women survived longer and their cancer did not progress as quickly when they received Trastuzumab (Herceptin®)."

However, the drug led to an increased risk of heart failure. With standard therapies, the equivalent of 300 in every 1,000 women survived at two years and only 10 developed heart problems. When Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) was added, 373 survived, but 35 developed heart problems that required immediate discontinuation of Trastuzumab. These cardiac dysfunctions were usually reversible after treatment stopped.

The review highlighted one particular drug combination associated with a higher risk of heart problems. "Some of the earlier trials combined Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) with a class of drugs called anthracyclines," said Roberto D'Amico, director of the Italian Cochrane Centre, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy and co-author of the review. "This combination is not recommended in patients with metastatic breast cancer."

Cochrane is an independent, trusted producer of research into the effects of healthcare treatments and interventions. Health practitioners can make better decisions using accessible, high quality, trusted evidence.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Sara Balduzzi, Stefania Mantarro, Valentina Guarneri, Ludovica Tagliabue, Vanna Pistotti, Lorenzo Moja, Roberto D'Amico. Trastuzumab-containing regimens for metastatic breast cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2014;(6):ED000083 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006242.pub2

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Advanced breast cancer: Benefits of Trastuzumab (Herceptin) outweigh the risk of harm." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140612085920.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, June 12). Advanced breast cancer: Benefits of Trastuzumab (Herceptin) outweigh the risk of harm. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140612085920.htm
Wiley. "Advanced breast cancer: Benefits of Trastuzumab (Herceptin) outweigh the risk of harm." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140612085920.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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