December 15th, 2009

Combination of Tykerb® and Herceptin® Benefits Breast Cancer Patients Who Have Progressed on Herceptin


Among women with HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer that has progressed during treatment with Herceptin® (trastuzumab), the combination of Tykerb® (lapatinib) and Herceptin appears to be more effective than Tykerb alone. These results were presented at the 2009 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Approximately 20-25% of breast cancers overexpress (make too much of) a protein known as HER2. Herceptin and Tykerb are drugs that target HER2-positive breast cancer.

To explore the combination of these two drugs, researchers conducted a study among 296 women with HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer that had progressed during treatment with Herceptin. Women were assigned to receive Tykerb alone or Tykerb in combination with Herceptin.

Median overall survival was more than four months longer among women treated with Tykerb and Herceptin than among women treated with Tykerb alone.

These results suggest that the combination of Tykerb and Herceptin improves survival among women who have experienced cancer progression on Herceptin. This combination of drugs is also being evaluated among breast cancer patients with earlier-stage, HER2-positive disease.

Reference: Blackwell KL. Updated Survival Analysis of a Randomized Study of Lapatinib Alone or in Combination with Trastuzumab in Women with HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer Progressing on Trastuzumab Therapy. Presented at the 32nd CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. December 9-13, 2009. San Antonio, TX. Abstract 61.

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