The effectiveness of Herceptin (trastuzumab) as a treatment for HER2+ breast cancer is greatly improved when combined with chemotherapy, according to research at the Mayo Clinic in the US.
Spokeswoman Dr Edith Perez, who is also a member of the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) breast committee, presented the findings at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center of the American Association for Cancer Research breast cancer symposium.
She said: “The results of this trial have been eagerly awaited in the US and in many nations as this is the only trial developed to define the optimal way to incorporate Herceptin in the context of adjuvant chemotherapy.
“The goal was to decrease the risk of cancer recurrence, and we have shown that concurrent use is the best way to achieve that.”
She said that the findings may have global implications for women being treated for HER2+ breast cancer, which makes up 20% to 25% of all cases.
Copyright Press Association 2009