Navigation Links
Advanced breast cancer: Benefits of Trastuzumab (Herceptin) outweigh the risk of harm

In women with advanced (or metastatic) breast cancer, treatment with the breast cancer drug Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is associated with prolonged survival but also increases the risk of developing heart problems, a new systematic review shows. However, the review, published in The Cochrane Library, concludes that more women benefit from use of Trastuzumab than are harmed.

The review focuses on treatment for women with advanced stage breast cancer who have tested HER2- positive. About 1 in 5 women with breast cancer are HER2-positive. HER2 is a protein on the surface of breast cells called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. It encourages tumour cells to grow and divide. The prognosis for HER2-positive patients is usually worse because the high levels of HER2 on their tumour cells make their cancer more aggressive.

The antibody-based drug Trastuzumab is designed to target these specific types of tumours. It has been recommended for treating women who have HER2-positive advanced breast cancer since 1998 in the US and 2002 in the UK.

The authors reviewed data from seven trials involving a total of 1,497 HER2-positive women with metastatic breast cancer, meaning their cancer could be treated but not cured. The women were given Trastuzumab in combination with other drugs, either as a first-line treatment or later therapy, when their cancer had progressed.

Overall survival rates two years after starting the trials were higher for women who were given Trastuzumab than for those on regimens that did not include the drug. Women on Trastuzumab also gained another two to eleven months without further progression of their cancers. The drug was most effective when it was used as a first-line treatment or in combination with the chemotherapy drug class called taxanes.

"This review suggests that, for women with advanced breast cancer, Trastuzumab (Herceptin) has been linked to significant life expectancy gains," said Lorenzo Moja, one of the authors of the review, based at the Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health at the University of Milan in Milan, Italy. "We found that women survived longer and their cancer did not progress as quickly when they received Trastuzumab (Herceptin)."

However, the drug led to an increased risk of heart failure. With standard therapies, the equivalent of 300 in every 1,000 women survived at two years and only 10 developed heart problems. When Trastuzumab (Herceptin) was added, 373 survived, but 35 developed heart problems that required immediate discontinuation of Trastuzumab. These cardiac dysfunctions were usually reversible after treatment stopped.

The review highlighted one particular drug combination associated with a higher risk of heart problems. "Some of the earlier trials combined Trastuzumab (Herceptin) with a class of drugs called anthracyclines," said Roberto D'Amico, director of the Italian Cochrane Centre, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy and co-author of the review. "This combination is not recommended in patients with metastatic breast cancer."

Contact: Evelyn Martinez

Related medicine news :

1. Early palliative support services help those caring for patients with advanced cancer
2. UIC conducts phase I drug study for advanced pancreatic cancer
3. Long-term results encouraging for combination immunotherapy for advanced melanoma
4. Immune therapy for advanced bladder cancer yields promising results
5. Better sleep predicts longer survival time for women with advanced breast cancer
6. Drinking poses greater risk for advanced liver disease in HIV/hep C patients
7. Palliation is rarely a topic in studies on advanced cancer
8. FDA approves first targeted drug for advanced stomach cancer
9. 20 years of data shows treatment technique improvement for advanced abdominal cancer
10. Investigational drug may increase survival for some patients with advanced melanoma
11. Uninsured adolescents and young adults more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as ... of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to ... one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... non-athletes recover from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method ... —Johnson is one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Those ... deal with these feelings, many turn to unhealthy avenues, such as drug or alcohol ... of Marne, Michigan, has released tools for healthy coping following a traumatic event. , ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, P.A. announced that 20 Florida attorneys ... peers for this recognition are considered among the top 2 percent of lawyers practicing ... members of this year’s Legal Elite Hall of Fame: Miami Shareholders Mark D. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... People across the U.S. are sharpening their pencils and ... essay contest in which patients and their families pay tribute to a genetic counselor ... National Society of Genetic Counselors (NSGC) Annual Education Conference (AEC) this September. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... -- Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc (Nasdaq: JAZZ ) ... Improvements Act of 1976, as amended ("HSR"), with respect ... Nasdaq: CPXX ) expired effective June 24, ... As previously announced on May 31, 2016, Jazz Pharmaceuticals ... which Jazz Pharmaceuticals has commenced a tender offer for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Collagen Matrix, Inc., ... development and manufacturing of collagen and mineral based ... today that Bill Messer has joined ... to further leverage the growing portfolio of oral ... Bill joins the Collagen Matrix executive ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DUBLIN , June 24, 2016 ... addition of the "Structural Electronics 2015-2025: Applications, ... In-Mold Electronics, Smart ... Integrated Photovoltaics Structural electronics involves ... as load-bearing, protective structures, replacing dumb structures such ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: