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New Breast Cancer Treatment Tykerb Pill Competes Against Herceptin - GlazoSmithKline GSK Product Passes Blood Brain Barrier - Low Heart Risk

June 4th 2006

New Breast Cancer Treatment Tykerb Pill Competes Against Herceptin - GlazoSmithKline GSK Product Passes Blood Brain Barrier - Low Heart Risk

Tykerb Mechanism

Tykerb, a new drug produced by GlazoSmithKline (GSK), is showing promise in treating breast cancer where Herceptin fails to respond.  Tykerb is a pill that can be taken orally, compared to other chemotherapy drugs which must be injection.  It is also a smaller molecule and can pass through the blood brain barrier to attack breast cancer that has spread to the brain.

According to the researchers, 62 percent of women with HER2 IBC cancers had a clinical response to Tykerb. The women in the study had aggressive HER2 type of breast cancer, and had already taken other drugs until they failed to respond to treatment.  These other drugs included Roche Holding AG's and Genentech Inc's top-selling Herceptin.


The study found that the progression time for women taking Tykerb in combination with a chemotherapy drug of 36.9 weeks, compared to 19.7 weeks for those taking chemotherapy agent capecitabine alone.  Tykerb nearly doubled the progression time.

Since many HER2 cancers recur or spread after treatment, GSK is hoping to prove that Tykerb can carry on working where other drugs stop working.  Tykerb could possible challenge Herceptin as the preferred treatment, according to a press release. 


GSK reported a “low incidence” of heart problems in women taking part in the study. Cardiac events occurred in 2.5 percent of the women taking Tykerb, compared to less than 1 percent of those taking a chemotherapy agent alone.  Studies have shown that Herceptin has caused heart failure in 2 to 3 percent of women.  Tykerb may be safer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The recent research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Atlanta this weekend.  Scientists are hoping that Phase III of the trial will show a 50% improvement.    

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