Treatment For Both Early Stage And Advanced HER2 Positive Breast Cancer
- Also Combined With Chemotherapy
June 2nd 2006
Patients with breast cancer that overexpress a protein known as the
human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2), can improve their
chance of survival by combining Herceptin® (trastuzumab) and Arimidex® (anastrozole),
compared to Arimidex alone. Currently Herceptin is approved for as
initial therapy in addition to the chemotherapy agent Taxol® (paclitaxel)
in advanced, HER2-positive breast cancer. Herceptin is also approved as
a single agent in patients where breast cancer has progressed following
a prior therapy.
In about 30% of the breast cancers, the HER2 protein is overexpressed.
These cases typically have a worse prognosis than women with
HER2-negative breast cancer. According to Roche, the maker of Herceptin,
the targeted agent Herceptin binds to HER2 receptors and prevents or
reduces replication of cancer cells that overexpress HER2.
The company says that Herceptin benefits patients regardless of whether
the cancer is treated in the early stage or advanced settings, or
whether it is in combination with chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or
used as a single agent.