March 31, 2009

Herceptin® Improves Survival with HER2-positive Stomach Cancer

By Anonymous User

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:

  1. Chemotherapy with a fluoropyrimidine (Xeloda® [capecitabine] or 5-FU) and cisplatin every three weeks for six cycles.
  2. Herceptin every three weeks until cancer progression in combination with a fluoropyrimidine and cisplatin for six cycles.

The results of the study indicate that Herceptin improved survival. Full results are expected to be presented at an upcoming medical meeting.

Reference:

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).

Tags: Gastric Cancer, News Tips and Features

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