SAN ANTONIO -- A combination of lapatinib, trastuzumab and paclitaxel significantly improved tumor response rates than either agent alone among patients with HER2-positive breast cancers, according to data presented at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 8-12. Full results were presented at the symposium during a press briefing on Dec. 10, 2010, at 8:00 a.m. CT.
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Lead researcher José Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the division of hematology and oncology and associate director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, said early data indicate a 50 percent rate of pathological complete remission compared with 20 percent for either agent alone.
"This study suggests that a dual blockade against HER2 is an efficient way to target HER2-positive breast tumors and that lapatinib adds to trastuzumab. While further research is ongoing, our results indicate that we are on the right track to improve the therapy of HER2-positive disease," said Baselga, who is also a founding editor-in-chief of the AACR's newest journal Cancer Discovery, along with Lewis C. Cantley, Ph.D.
These results are from the NeoALTTO Trial, an international, multicenter, randomized study comparing the efficacy of lapatinib plus paclitaxel vs. trastuzumab plus paclitaxel vs. a combination of all three agents as neoadjuvant chemotherapy among 455 patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.
"It has been suggested in basic science research and smaller clinical trials that the combination of these therapies would be more effective than either alone, but this is the first time it has been shown in a large clinical trial setting," said Baselga.
At the symposium, Baselga presented the primary outcome of tumor rate after surgery, as well as the secondary outcomes of objective response rate, safety, pathologic node-negative status, rate of conversion to breast conservation, disease free survival and overall survival.
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The mission of the CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is to produce a unique and comprehensive scientific meeting that encompasses the full spectrum of breast cancer research, facilitating the rapid translation of new knowledge into better care for breast cancer patients. The Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and Baylor College of Medicine are joint sponsors of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. This collaboration utilizes the clinical strengths of the CTRC and Baylor, and the AACR's scientific prestige in basic, translational and clinical cancer research to expedite the delivery of the latest scientific advances to the clinic. The 33rd annual symposium is expected to draw nearly 9,000 participants from more than 90 countries.