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Herceptin and Tykerb effective against a subset of gastric cancers
Date:3/3/2010

ed can be used to treat cancers more effectively with fewer side effects. It also supports the widespread theory that cancers should not be treated based on their organ of origin, but by the genetic mutations driving their growth.

"We have known for many years that not all breast cancers should be treated alike and the same is proving to be true in gastric cancers," Wainberg said.

The same test that is used to detect HER2 amplification in breast cancer, fluorescence in situ hybridization or FISH, is used to find the subset of gastric patients with the same mutation.

"It's my belief that a year from now, everyone will be checking for HER2 amplification in gastric cancer the way we test it now in breast cancer," Wainberg said.

While only about 25,000 to 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with gastric cancers every year, the disease is a significant problem worldwide. Gastric cancers remain one of the most common forms of cancer diagnosed worldwide, with approximately 870,000 new cases and 650,000 deaths every year.

"This is definitely a cancer type where we very much need newer and more effective therapies," Wainberg said.


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Contact: Kim Irwin
kirwin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-206-2805
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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