Combination Targeted Therapy Without Chemotherapy Viable for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Patients

Combination Targeted Therapy Without Chemotherapy Viable for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Patients
shutterstock_141478540A new Phase II clinical trial showed encouraging results for the targeted therapy of trastuzumab with lapatinib, instead of chemotherapy, for the treatment of breast cancer patients with HER-2 and estrogen positive tumors. The results were recently presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. During 2014, 2.8 million women in the United States were registered as breast cancer patients. HER2-positive breast cancer is one of the most aggressive types of breast cancers and is characterized by cancer cells that express the HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) receptor. The HER2 protein promotes the growth of cancer cells and HER2 positive cancers are less responsive to hormone treatment and thus more aggressive therapeutics have to be applied. Commonly used treatments include trastuzumab, which specifically targets HER2 and is usually combined with aggressive chemotherapy. When patients fail to respond to this combination, another HER2-specific drug, lapatinib, is administered with chemotherapy. A team of researchers at the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center at Baylor College of Medicine had previously shown, both in mice and humans, that combining trastuzumab and lapatinib together with endocrine
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