HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Patients Can Benefit From Herceptin Treatment

HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Patients Can Benefit From Herceptin Treatment
shutterstock_73013338Findings from a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, indicate that FDA approved Herceptin (trastuzumab) can improve long-term survival of HER-2 positive breast cancer patients. Approximately 15% to 20% of invasive breast cancers have an amplification of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) gene or overexpression of the HER2 protein. Trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody that can target the extracellular domain of the HER2 protein, has been found to improve survival in the metastatic setting of the disease when used in combination with chemotherapy. The NCCTG N9831 (hereafter N9831) and NSABP B-31 (hereafter B-31) trials assessed the efficacy and safety of adding trastuzumab to paclitaxel followed by trastuzumab alone after completion of doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy (doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, trastuzumab plus paclitaxel, trastuzumab). The trials were similar in design, allowing the National Cancer Institute and the US Food and Drug Administration to approve a joint efficacy analysis plan that could be executed before the first planned efficacy interim analysis of the individual trials. In their study entitled “Trastuzumab Plus Ad
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