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Clinical trial finds concurrent therapy not necessary to achieve high pathological in breast cancer
Date:11/12/2013

HOUSTON Giving trastuzumab and anthracyclines at the same time is effective at treating HER-2-positive breast cancer, but there is concern that this combination can be associated with an increased risk of cardiac toxicity. New research from Aman Buzdar M.D., professor and vice president of clinical research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues in the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, shows these agents do not need to be given concurrently to achieve a high rate of complete pathological remission.

The findings, published in the journal Lancet Oncology, investigated the timing of trastuzumab administration with anthracycline and taxane chemotherapy.

"In a previous MD Anderson study concurrent administration of trastuzumab with chemotherapy, including anthracyclines, demonstrated high pathologic complete response rates in breast cancer patients with HER-2-positive disease," Buzdar said. "In the current trial, we examined whether concurrent administration of anthracyclines with trastuzumab was necessary to achieve the high pathologic response rates or whether these drugs could be given sequentially. Findings show that high pathologic response rates were observed in both treatment groups with similar cardiac safety profiles in both arms of the trial."

The randomized phase III trial enrolled 280 women with operable HER-2 positive invasive breast cancer at 36 centers across the United States from September 2007 through December 2011.

Patients were randomly assigned to two treatment regimens, 138 in the sequential group who received fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide on day one of a 21-day cycle for four cycles followed by paclitaxel plus trastuzumab weekly for 12 weeks.

The 142 patients in the concurrent group were treated with paclitaxel and trastuzumab weekly for 12 weeks. This was followed by fluorouracil, epirubicin and cyclophosphamide on day one of a 21-da
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Contact: William Fitzgerald
wbfitzgerald@mdanderson.org
713-792-9518
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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