Researchers of Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and the Hospital Quirón in Madrid and Barcelona have carried out two studies that show that two new drugs lengthen the survival without progression of the tumor in patients with HER2 + breast cancer with metastasis, which is about chronifying this disease.
The results of their research have been presented at the congress Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS-2019) held in San Antonio (Texas-USA). In addition, they are published in the England New England Journal of Medicine ’. The trials were conducted with different patients from Vall d’Hebron Hospital, half of them with brain metastases.
Specifically, the HER2 + breast cancer It affects 15% of patients with this type of tumor and until recently it was one of the cancers with the worst prognosis, although treatments have evolved greatly in recent years.
«These two new therapies that have been tested in patients with the disease in metastatic stage and that they had already progressed to standard treatment alternatives represent a new milestone in the chronification of this disease, ”said Cristina Saura, a researcher at the VHIO Breast Cancer Group.
There is still time for the therapies to be approved but patients of Vall d’Hebron already have been able to benefit of them by participating in clinical trials to prove their effectiveness.
The first trial has proven the effectiveness of a triple combination of tucatinib, trastuzumab and capecitabine in patients with metastatic HER2 + breast cancer whose disease had progressed after treating them with pertuzumab and T-DM1, two of the HER2 drugs approved for breast cancer.
Specifically, after one year of treatment the percentage of patients free of progression of disease was 33%, compared to 12% in the control group, and two-year survival increased from 27% in the control group to 45% in patients receiving the triple combination.
The second treatment tested has demonstrated the efficacy of the drug trastuzumab deruxtecan. In this case, the patients who participated in the trial were women with HER2 + breast cancer that had previously been treated with other drugs and had become refractory.
In these patients, 60.9% of those who received this new treatment had a survival progression free of more than 16 months, which, according to the researchers, "is a milestone in the control of the disease in this context."