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Fox Chase clinical trial tests first of its kind antibody
Date:6/4/2010

CHICAGO, IL. (June 7, 2010)Patients with HER2-positive cancers can have dramatic responses to HER2-targeted drugs but eventually develop resistance to the agents. With that problem in mind, Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers are testing a novel type of antibody called MM-111 in patients with HER2-positive disease who have progressed on standard therapy.

Unlike natural antibodies, which have two arms that recognize the same antigen, the new MM-111 antibody has one arm that binds the HER2 receptor on the cell surface and a second arm that binds the HER3 receptor and blocks signaling through HER3.

"This is the first-in-human bi-specific antibody that targets the HER2/HER3 pathway," says Crystal Denlinger, M.D., a medical oncologist who is leading the phase I/II trial at Fox Chase. "It uses the HER2 target to deliver a punch to the HER3 pathway." Denlinger will present the phase I/II study design and background data at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on Monday, June 7.

Scientists have recently found that HER3 (also called ErbB3) signaling is an important therapeutic target in HER2-positive cancers. HER3 is the preferred binding partner for the HER2 receptor and together they promote tumor growth. In tumors that have become resistant to HER2-targeted drugs, the HER3 receptor may become highly active and appears to contribute to the resistance.

"With MM-111, we now have the technology and ability to exploit this pathway and provide an additional therapeutic target within the HER2 pathway," Denlinger says.

Enrollment in the phase I portion of the trial is complete with 11 advanced breast cancer patients and one HER2-positive gastric cancer patient. The final safety analysis for the phase I portion is on-going, and the team anticipates beginning enrollment of patients in the phase II portion of the trial later this summer. Advanced breast cancer patients with HER2-positive disease who
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
Diana.Quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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