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Herceptin Improved Treatment For Both Early Stage And Advanced HER2 Positive Breast Cancer - Also Combined With Chemotherapy

June 2nd 2006

Herceptin Improved Treatment For Both Early Stage And Advanced HER2 Positive Breast Cancer - Also Combined With Chemotherapy


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. 

The Global Head of Roche Pharma Development, Eduard Holdener said “We are glad to learn from this study that the combination therapy offers a new treatment regimen for these breast cancer patients who suffer from an extremely aggressive form of the disease. We will now work with trial investigators to analyze the full set of data from this trial, and submit it for presentation at an upcoming medical meeting in the second half of 2006. We will start preparations to file these data with health authorities around the world.”


The latest study, TAnDEM Phase III trial, evaluated Herceptin plus Arimidex versus Armidex alone.  The researchers evaluated the first-line therapy (or second line hormonal therapy) in postmenopausal women with advanced (metastatic), HER2-positive and hormone receptor-positive (ER-positive and/or PR-positive) breast cancer.

Arimidex was scheduled at a dose of 1 mg daily until progression. Herceptin was administered in 2 mg/kg weekly doses (after an initial loading dose of 4 mg/kg) until disease progression.  The safety of the Herceptin treatment was considered acceptable, and those on the drug had a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival.  Roche says the patients will continued to be studied to evaluate side effects. 

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Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM