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Investigational Cancer Drug Pertuzumab Shows Promising Results in,Advanced Breast Cancer When Combined with Herceptin

Investigational cancer drug Pertuzumab shows promising results in advanced breast cancer when combined with Herceptin Phase III development initiated

BASEL, Switzerland, June 4, 2007-Early clinical results from Roche's trial of the exciting new cancer medicine pertuzumab, a HER dimerisation inhibitor, show substantial anti-tumour activity in patients with pre-treated HER2 positive breast cancer, when combined with Herceptin. The study showed that one in five patients responded to pertuzumab treatment and one in five also had stabilization of their disease lasting 6 months or more. The results are particularly promising, as the benefits were seen in patients with late stage cancer, whose options for further treatment are limited.

"This is potentially good news for patients whose HER2 positive breast cancer is not responding to current treatments," commented Dr Jose Baselga, lead investigator, Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain. "We are encouraged by the initial results from this trial and are continuing to further recruit patients into the second stage of the study."

The phase II study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Chicago, investigated the combination of two of Roche's HER2 targeted agents, pertuzumab and Herceptin, in patients with HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer whose disease had progressed during treatment with Herceptin plus chemotherapy (1).

Pertuzumab is the first in a new innovative class of targeted agents known as HER dimerization inhibitors (HDIs). The drug inhibits the 'pairing' or dimerization of the protein HER2 with other HER family receptors (HER1, HER2, HER3, and HER4). This interaction is believed to play an important role in the growth and formation of several different cancer types. Pertuzumab in combination adds to the activity of Herceptin due to its different mode of action. "The positive results f
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