Combinations of targeted therapies found to improve patient outcomes

Friday, December 10, 2010 (Last Updated: 12/13/2010)

FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Novel combinations of targeted therapies appear to improve outcomes among patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, according to studies presented at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held from Dec. 8 to 12.

Michael Untch, M.D., of the Helios Clinic in Berlin, and colleagues compared the efficacy and safety of lapatinib and trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy among 2,500 patients with early breast cancer, including 550 who had HER2-neu-overexpressing breast cancer. The investigators are following patients to evaluate whether pathologic complete response at surgery is associated with patient outcomes.

In another study, Luca Gianni, M.D., of Istituto Nazionale Tumori in Milan, Italy, and colleagues evaluated the efficacy of pertuzumab in combination with trastuzumab with or without chemotherapy among 417 women with HER2-positive breast cancer. The investigators found that the addition of pertuzumab and trastuzumab to docetaxel improved antitumor activity. José Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues found that, among patients with HER2-positive breast cancers, the combination of lapatinib, trastuzumab, and paclitaxel significantly improved tumor response rates compared with either agent alone.

"This study suggests that a dual blockade against HER2 is an efficient way to target HER2-positive breast tumors and that lapatinib adds to trastuzumab. While further research is ongoing, our results indicate that we are on the right track to improve the therapy of HER2-positive disease," Baselga said in a statement.

Press Release - Untch
Press Release - Gianni
Press Release - Baselga
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Specialties Hematology & Oncology

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