According to the results of a Phase III clinical trial, treatment with the targeted therapy Herceptin® (trastuzumab) improves survival among patients with HER2-positive, advanced and inoperable stomach cancer. These results were made available in a press release from Roche.
Herceptin is a targeted therapy that has made important contributions to improved outcomes among women with HER2-positive breast cancer. The HER2 pathway is a biological pathway involved in cellular replication and growth. Approximately 20-25% of breast cancers overexpress the HER2 protein and are referred to as HER2-positive. Herceptin targets and blocks the HER2-protein, and is used for the treatment of both early-stage and more advanced HER2-positive breast cancer.
HER2 is also overexpressed in an estimated 22% of stomach cancers. To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of Herceptin among patients with HER2-positive, advanced and inoperable stomach cancer, researchers conducted an international Phase III clinical trial study among 594 patients.
Study participants were assigned to one of two treatment groups:
The results of the study indicate that Herceptin improved survival. Full results are expected to be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.
Roche press release. Herceptin now shown to significantly prolong the lives of patients with HER2-positive advanced stomach cancer. Available at: http://www.roche.com/media/media_releases/med-cor-2009-03-18.htm (Accessed March 26, 2009).