A drug that prolongs the survival of 67% of patients

A drug that prolongs the survival of 67% of patients

Barcelona15% of all breast cancer cases diagnosed in the world are of the metastatic HER2+ (HER2+) type, which is characterized by high aggressiveness and high proliferative potential. For this reason, the International Breast Cancer Center – Pangea Oncology (IBCC), in Barcelona, ​​has been studying for three years the approach to treating this cancer with a treatment that shows promising results. This is the drug trastuzumab deruxtecan, which has successfully kept more than 67% of patients with HER2+ inoperable metastatic breast cancer alive after three years of receiving this treatment. the magazine Natural medicine This Sunday publishes the results of research conducted by the Director of the IBCC, Javier Cortés, who proudly highlights the improvement in the survival of patients with this drug.

“We already expect that with this drug, we can achieve significant control of the disease, resulting in a very significant increase in overall survival,” says Curtis, who is also scientific director of the Oncology Institute at the Beata Maria Anna Hospital. In Madrid, researchers recorded an overall survival of 52 months in patients treated with this drug, which is the longest recorded so far in this subtype of metastatic breast cancer, so they consider that the significant effectiveness of trastuzumab deruxtecan has been proven.

“We have confirmed the high efficacy of trastuzumab deruxtecan in patients with HER2+ breast cancer previously treated with standard of care, taxanes and trastuzumab, and to our knowledge, this is the longest median overall survival reported in this disease. The expert emphasizes that more than Two-thirds (67.6%) of patients were still alive after three years.

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Active antibody

Trastuzumab deruxtecan acts as a Trojan horse against cancer. This is an antibody designed to trick a cancer cell’s defenses into entering and destroying it from the inside. It is given intravenously and travels through the blood to where the cancer cells are. Once there, it recognizes the gateway, in this case the HER2 receptor, and is able to enter undetected and release the chemotherapy it carries, without harming healthy cells. Currently, therapies directed against targets such as the HER2 receptor on cancer cells allow this cancer to be treated more effectively. In clinical practice, trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and trastuzumab emtansine stand out.

Furthermore, during the three-year follow-up period, the drug’s safety profile remained “manageable” and researchers did not observe cumulative toxicities in patients who took it. In fact, no cases of lung disease, which is a complication that can arise during treatment, have been recorded. In total, 524 patients with metastatic or inoperable HER2+ breast cancer who had previously been treated with conventional therapies participated in the study.

Previous research

The study drug has already demonstrated “unprecedented antitumor activity” in patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer after 12 months of follow-up. These are the conclusions of a clinical trial in which they compared the effect of trastuzumab deruxtecan with standard treatment, which they also led from IBCC. With these results, Europe, the United States and Japan have approved its use for patients with this advanced tumor subtype who have already received previous unsuccessful treatment and also to treat disease recurrence. It is now also recommended in clinical guidelines.

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Curtis presented the findings at the 2021 ESMO Congress Presidential Symposium and called them “the most important and influential in the history of breast cancer,” a statement that remains valid three years later when considered against the results of the latest study. The IBCC Director is ranked first in the world in terms of expertise in the field of HER2+ breast cancer and fourth in the world in terms of expertise in the field of breast cancer overall for the third year in a row, according to the international Expertscape ranking.

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