Navigation Links
Class of Chemotherapy Drugs Helps Certain Breast Cancer Patients
Date:12/26/2007

Anthracyclines increase survival for HER2-positive tumors, but not negative ones, analysis finds,,

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News)-- Chemotherapy drugs known as anthracyclines help boost survival for women with HER2-positive breast cancer who have undergone surgery, but they may not offer any survival benefit for those with HER2-negative tumors.

That's the conclusion of a wide-ranging analysis that pooled the results of eight randomized trials that compared the drugs with non-anthracyclines and took into account the women's HER2 status.

HER2-positive cancers test positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and tend to grow quickly, the researchers said.

Since anthracyclines (such as doxorubicin and epirubicin) were introduced in the 1980s, they have been widely used as supplementary chemotherapy for breast cancer, said Dr. Alessandra Gennari, a medical oncologist at the National Cancer Research Institute in Genoa, Italy, and lead author of the study.

But the new analysis may change that, Gennari said. "Our study provides convincing statistical evidence that the added benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy with anthracyclines is confined to women who have breast tumors in which HER2 is overexpressed or amplified," she said.

"Since only about 25 to 30 percent of all breast cancers are HER2-positive, the vast majority of patients, with HER2-negative disease, may be spared unnecessary toxicities related to the use of this class of agents," she added.

The study findings were published online Dec. 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Anthracyclines have been associated with an increased risk of heart damage in some patients -- a risk doctors have known about for some time. An increased risk of leukemia, which can strike years later, is also associated with use of the drugs.

But, Gennari said, anthracyclines came into widespread use despite these risks, because a previous meta-analysis found they improved overall survival. "As a result, anthracyclines-based regimens have been long regarded as the standard therapeutic option in the vast majority of early breast cancer patients. However, when individual trials are taken into account, the absolute magnitude of this benefit is not consistent across studies," she added.

The new study suggests the drugs work best for those women whose tumors are HER2-positive. Of the 6,564 patients reviewed, 5,354 had HER2 status information available. In those women with tumors that were HER2-positive, the anthracyclines produced a greater reduction in risk of relapse or death than non-anthracycline regimens, the study found.

For women with HER2-negative tumors, however, there was no difference in survival between the chemotherapy regimens.

But, in an accompanying editorial in the journal, Dr. Charles Geyer Jr. and his colleagues from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project in Pittsburgh, said that it may not be as simple as determining who should get anthracyclines based just on HER2 status.

That's because other research has suggested that the overexpression of another gene called topoisomerase II alpha (or topo2) may also play a role in how well anthracyclines work. "The topo2 gene is thought to be the real target of the anthracyclines," said Geyer, director of medical affairs for the NSABB project. And it may or may not be overexpressed along with the HER2 gene, he said.

The new study's conclusions, Geyer added, provide another example of therapies becoming more and more tailored to the specific type of breast cancer.

In another study in the same issue of the journal, researchers reported that women with breast cancer getting chemotherapy and tamoxifen had reduced risk of getting cancer in the healthy breast. Chemotherapy reduced the risk for at least 10 years and tamoxifen for five years, the study said.

More information

To learn more about anthracyclines and other chemotherapy drugs, visit the American Cancer Society.



SOURCES: Alessandra Gennari, M.D., Ph.D., medical oncologist, National Cancer Research Institute, Genoa, Italy; Charles E. Geyer Jr., M.D., director of medical affairs, National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project, director of the Cancer Center, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh; Dec. 25, 2007, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Kingfisher Healthcare (KFH) Achieves World Class Quality Platform
2. ADDA Kicks Off AD/HD Awareness Campaign with Four Regional Conferences Beginning Sept. 29 and Series of Fall Teleclasses
3. A classic method for modeling skin cancer is featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
4. First Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against Philip Morris in Lights Class Action
5. Theater Classes Help Docs Bedside Manners
6. Tarpinian: Misclassification is Theft
7. New class of RNA molecules may be important in human cancer
8. Instrumentation Laboratory Named Top of Class by Respiratory Care Managers
9. Consumer Group: Hillary Clintons Mandatory Health Insurance Purchase Plan is an Act of War on the Middle Class Family That Cant Afford $12k Policy
10. SATELLITE BROADCAST: Consumer Group Says Hillary Clintons Mandatory Health Insurance Plan is an Act of War on the Middle Class that Cant Afford $12k Policy
11. Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Announces Class Action Lawsuit Against LCA-Vision Inc.
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Class of Chemotherapy Drugs Helps Certain Breast Cancer Patients
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... The 89th Academy ... winner of the 2016 National Education Policy Center Bunkum Award. We invite you to ... 2016. , This year’s Bunkum winner is the Center for American Progress (CAP), for ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... with a clinician-based audience, will be participating in Rare Disease Day events, hosted ... D.C. In addition, Rare Disease Report, a website, weekly e-newsletter and quarterly publication, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... ... Los Angeles-based weight loss surgeon Michael Feiz, M.D., F.AC.S. will be appearing ... which will begin airing on February 24, 2017. The show chronicles the weight loss ... television series, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.” The earlier series from TLC lasted for ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... thought leadership , media relations, content marketing, social media management, corporate communications, SEO ... already in the state and in nearby New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Canada, Rosica ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... On April 13, 2017, The ... “Doping in Sport: How the Culture Might Change,” in conjunction with Pepperdine ... will be held at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. , Sir Philip Craven, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... 2017 Report analyzes the worldwide markets for Endodontic ... for the US, Canada , ... Asia-Pacific , Latin America , and ... the period 2015 through 2022. Also, a six-year historic analysis ... derived from primary and secondary research. Company profiles are primarily ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ITL Limited, ( ASX : ITD ), une ... d,annoncer les excellents résultats semestriels clos le 31 décembre ... présentation complète « Résultats et mise à jour sur la ... Faits marquants ... $ ; en hausse de 104 %) Bénéfice ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  This report analyzes ... by the following Products: Intermediates, Analytical, ... the report include Pharmaceuticals, and Agrochemicals. The report provides ... , Europe , and Rest ... the period 2015 through 2022. Also, a six-year historic ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: