Lapatinib benefits women with HER2-positive breast cancer
OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that it concluded a meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 7, 2008, and that the FDA agreed that “durable pain palliation is an acceptable and desirable study endpoint” to support a product marketing approval for OGX-011 as a treatment for hormone refractory prostate cancer (HRPC).
Full Post: OncoGenex achieves key regulatory milestone for lead product candidate
Findings published in the December 1, 2008, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, show lapatinib benefits women with HER2-positive breast cancer, while women with HER2-negative breast cancer or those who express EGRF alone derive no incremental benefit.
In addition, a misclassification of metastatic breast cancer patients by as much as 10 percent prevents some people from receiving optimal therapy.
Lapatinib, an oral chemotherapy agent, inhibits both HER2 and EGRF receptors, leaving unanswered questions about which patients are more likely to benefit. Researchers at the Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center found that HER2 amplification (”HER2-positive”), but not EGRF expression, is correlated with responsiveness to lapatinib. Women with both high and low levels of HER2 amplification respond to lapatinib. However, women with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancers do not respond.
Women with HER2-postitive metastatic breast cancer who receive lapatinib and chemotherapy have shown an improvement of approximately 50 percent in progression-free survival when compared to chemotherapy alone. Unfortunately, high volume laboratories using laboratory technicians instead of pathologists to score gene amplification misclassify approximately 10 percent of HER2 amplified breast cancers as not amplified, preventing these patients from being candidates for lapatinib.
“I would like to see all women with breast cancer tested appropriately, using the best method and certified personnel, to assess the HER2 status of their breast cancer so the appropriate treatment can be selected,” said Michael Press, M.D., Ph.D., Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center Harold E. Lee Chair in Cancer Research and lead author of the study.
Currently lapatinib is approved by the FDA for use only in women who have HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who were previously treated with anthracyclines, trastuzumab and taxane.
Early-stage breast cancer patients with HER2 positive tumors one centimeter or smaller are at significant risk of recurrence of their disease, compared to those with early-stage disease who do not express the aggressive protein, according to a study led by researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. The findings, presented today
Full Post: Early-stage breast cancer patients with HER2 positive tumors at increased risk of recurrence
For breast cancer survivors, the idea of taking estrogen pills is almost a taboo. In fact, their doctors give them drugs to get rid of the hormone because it can fuel the growth of breast cancer. So these women would probably be surprised by the approach taken by breast cancer physician Matthew Ellis, M.B., Ph.D.,
Full Post: Estrogen therapy can help control metastatic breast cancer
The power of the drug tamoxifen to reduce breast density is key in preventing breast cancer - according to a presentation in America by Cancer Research UK scientists. Researchers monitored the extent to which tamoxifen could reduce breast density in 7000 healthy post menopausal women who are at high risk of breast cancer in a
Full Post: How tamoxifen prevents breast cancer in some women but not others
Expression of the microtubule-binding protein Tau is not a reliable means of selecting breast cancer patients for adjuvant paclitaxel chemotherapy, according to research led by The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Presented at the CRTC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, the researchers found that Tau expression does predict survival, yet in an unexpected
Full Post: Tau protein expression predicts breast cancer survival in an unexpected way
Cancer Research UK scientists have found that a test, already used in breast cancer diagnosis, can also predict who will and who won’t benefit from commonly used chemotherapy drugs. The research shows that women who have a duplication of chromosome 17 in their tumour will benefit from anthracycline drugs, while others can be spared the
Full Post: New research moves us one step closer to personalised breast cancer treatment