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Phase II study shows new cancer drug combination significantly delays breast cancer progression
Date:9/24/2011

Stockholm, Sweden: The first randomised trial to investigate the use of trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) an antibody-guided drug for the initial treatment of HER2- (human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) positive metastatic breast cancer has shown that it makes a significant difference to the time women live without their disease worsening.

Dr Sara Hurvitz, one of the trial investigators, will tell the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress [1] in Stockholm today (Sunday 25 September): "Our results showed that patients with metastatic breast cancer who received T-DM1 had a 41% improvement in the time they lived without their breast cancer worsening compared to those who received standard docetaxel chemotherapy plus trastuzumab. These provocative Phase II data illustrate that first-line treatment with T-DM1 provides a longer time for patients to live without cancer progression and with fewer side effects than standard chemotherapy plus trastuzumab."

Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) is a novel type of cancer therapy known as an antibody drug conjugate (ADC). It combines the monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab, with a potent cytotoxic agent DM1 [2] through a stable linker and uses the HER2 targeting properties of trastuzumab to deliver the cell-killing agent DM1 into the cancer cells.

Dr Hurvitz, Director of the Breast Oncology Program for the Division of Hematology/ Oncology at The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), USA, will say that "T-DM1 is unique because it retains the cancer fighting properties of trastuzumab and delivers the DM1 agent directly to the tumour cell for destruction, while limiting exposure of the free DM1 drug to normal cells. This explains why patients who received T-DM1 had fewer side effects compared to those assigned to the chemotherapy-containing control arm in this study."

T-DM1 is specifically designed to attach trastuzumab to DM1 using a stable linker. The bound DM1 has little toxicit
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Contact: Kay Roche
kayroche@gmail.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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