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SABCS: Chemo Plus Herceptin Found to Improve Outcomes

-- Rick Ansorge

Monday, December 14, 2009

MONDAY, Dec. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In women who undergo surgery to treat Stage I to III invasive HER2+ breast cancer, postoperative treatment with concurrent chemotherapy and Herceptin significantly improves disease-free survival, according to research presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held from Dec. 9 to 13.

Edith A. Perez, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and colleagues from the North Central Cancer Treatment Group study compared outcomes in 1,087 women who received chemotherapy alone and 1,097 women who received chemotherapy followed by Herceptin. They also compared outcomes in 954 women who received chemotherapy followed by Herceptin, and 949 women who received concurrent chemotherapy and Herceptin.

In the first comparison, the researchers found that the five-year disease-free survival rate was significantly higher in women who received chemotherapy followed by Herceptin than in those who received chemotherapy alone (80 versus 72 percent). In the second comparison, they found that the five-year disease-free survival rate was higher in women who received concurrent chemotherapy and Herceptin than in those who received chemotherapy followed by Herceptin (84 versus 80 percent).

"The results of this trial have been eagerly awaited in the United States and in many nations as this is the only trial developed to define the optimal way to incorporate Herceptin in the context of adjuvant chemotherapy," Perez said in a statement. "The goal was to decrease the risk of cancer recurrence, and we have shown that concurrent use is the best way to achieve that. This could mean that up to 10,000 women around the world each year may have a better outcome if Herceptin is used along with chemotherapy."

This study was partially supported by Genentech.

Symposium Information

Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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