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Published on 11 March 2009

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Study confirms Herceptin’s promise of extra years of living cancer free


The Breast International Group (BIG) in collaboration with Roche announced today that women with HER2 positive early breast cancer continue to benefit from Herceptin (trastuzumab) several years after treatment completion and as a result enjoy a longer life disease free. The patients were treated for one year with Herceptin and followed up for four years. These data from the HERA study were presented at the Primary Therapy in Early Breast Cancer conference in St. Gallen, Switzerland.

The HERA study (HERceptin Adjuvant) showed that women treated with Herceptin had a 25% reduction in the risk of their cancer coming back compared to women who did not receive Herceptin, and after four years of medical observation on average, almost 90% of the Herceptin-treated women were still alive. In addition to the significant treatment benefit, this analysis confirmed the long-term safety profile of Herceptin, with good cardiac safety and tolerability maintained throughout the four year follow up period.

“These data are extremely important for the treatment of breast cancer” commented Dr Martine Piccart, lead investigator of the HERA study and Chair of BIG. “HERA is the first of the four large Herceptin studies in early HER2 positive breast cancer to substantiate the long-term benefit derived from one year of treatment”.

“These important long-term results from the HERA trial reinforce that women with this aggressive type of cancer have the best chance of cure with Herceptin”, said William M. Burns, CEO of Roche’s Pharmaceuticals Division.


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