Herceptin Seen as Effective and Cost-Effective for ‘Worst-Case’ Early Breast Cancers in Study

Herceptin Seen as Effective and Cost-Effective for ‘Worst-Case’ Early Breast Cancers in Study
Depending on the disease characteristics and age of a women with early stage but aggressive breast cancer, the cost-effectiveness of Herceptin (trastuzumab) may vary widely, according to a recent study by researchers in New Zealand. The results were reported in “Adjuvant Trastuzumab in HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer by Age and Hormone Receptor Status: A Cost-Utility Analysis," published in PLOS Medicine. Herceptin is a monoclonal antibody that targets the extracellular domain of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) protein, an aggressive type of breast cancer. It is known to improve survival in the metastatic setting when used in combination with chemotherapy. Researchers used a computer model to simulate the life courses of breast cancer patients, comparing a 12-month regimen of those under Herceptin plus chemo to those under chemotherapy along, to estimate health gains, costs, and cost-effectiveness of the combination treatment. "We found that the cost-effectiveness of Herceptin was markedly better for women with a worse-prognosis subtype of breast cancer compared to a better-prognosis subtype. These results may help inform future resource allocation decisions," William Leung, the study's lead author, with the Department of Public Health at the  University of Otago in Wellington, said in a
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