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Trastuzumab therapy effective for Breast cancer patients with Her-2/neu positive

Researchers Edith Perez and Edward Romond reported from two separate trials that Breast cancer patients with Her2-positive were effectively treated with Herceptin therapy using trastuzumab. //The results of their study were published in the journal The New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers compiled results from two clinical trials, which compared patients getting only chemotherapy with patients receiving both chemotherapy and trastuzumab. Use of Herceptin drug has become very important as more than one million women are diagnosed of breast cancer each year around the world and of which 25% of patients have Her-2/neu positive status. Her-2 positive patients do not respond positively and effectively to routine chemotherapy drugs, which require trastuzumab therapy.

The study recruited a total of 3,351 patients of which 2,043 patients were enrolled in National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) and 1,633 patients were enrolled in two groups of North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) trial N9831. The study results showed that out of 1,679 control patients 261 patients developed recurrence breast cancer disease compared to 133 in the group receiving trastuzumab. At three years, 90.4 percent of women receiving trastuzumab were disease free, compared to 81.5 percent of women in the control group. There also was a measurable reduction in the development of other non-breast primary cancers in the B-31 trial for women receiving trastuzumab. Overall survival also appeared to be impacted, with only 62 deaths in the trastuzumab group as compared with 92 in the control group.

NCCTG Trial: NCCTG trial was investigated by Dr. Perez and his team, the clinical trial compared three chemotherapy drugs treatment of which two of the drug treatments contained trastuzumab therapy with one dosage concurrent with weekly paclitaxel, the other after completion of paclitaxel.

NSABP Trial: Investigators compared treatment with o ne chemotherapy regimen against the same chemotherapy regimen of weekly trastuzumab and weekly paclitaxel. Dr. Perez, Co-director Mayo Clinic’s Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic said, “When we started this study, I knew in my heart results would be positive, but this by far exceeded my expectations and now there is convincing evidence that women with Her-2/neu positive breast cancer can now be treated more effectively.”

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