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Triple drug combination is promising option to treat metastatic HER2+ breast cancer
Date:5/15/2009

ORLANDO Combining two chemotherapy drugs with trastuzumab (Herceptin) to treat women who have metastatic HER2+ breast cancer may offer physicians another choice in their treatment options.

At the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), researchers from the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida report that using a combination of capecitabine, vinorelbine, and trastuzumab offers a treatment option that is at least as beneficial as other current options and doesn't cause hair loss in patients.

"This is a very well tolerated regimen. The combination is a good example of an excellent therapeutic ratio: good activity and low toxicity," says the study's senior investigator, Edith Perez, M.D., director of Mayo Clinic's Breast Center in Jacksonville.

The clinical trial is the first in the United States to study this particular combination of therapies in patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer, researchers say. The chemotherapy regimen was previously tested in Europe and demonstrated good anti-tumor activity and low toxicity, so Mayo researchers combined it with Herceptin, says the study's lead author, Winston Tan, M.D., a medical oncologist at Mayo Clinic.

Sixty-seven percent of the 45 patients in this trial responded to treatment, with their tumors decreasing in size by at least 30 percent. Historic response to conventional drug regimens (one chemotherapy drug with Herceptin) that are currently used to treat metastatic HER2+ breast cancer is about 50 percent, Dr. Tan noted.

"The results are encouraging, and would support a larger, randomized Phase III study," he says. "This is a Phase II study of this triple combination, so we would need to st
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Contact: Paul Scotti
scotti.paul@mayo.edu
904-953-2299
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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