Trastuzumab is often used with chemotherapy. But it could also be used alone or in combination with hormone-blocking medications, like an aromatase inhibitor and tamoxifen. Trastuzumab will likely be well tolerated, nevertheless it does have some potential unintended side effects, such as congestive cardiovascular system failure and allergic reaction.
Lapatinib (Tykerb). Such as trastuzumab, lapatinib can be a HER2-specific drug. Lapatinib may be effective for HER2-positive chest cancer that doesn't respond to trastuzumab. Lapatinib is used in combination with the chemotherapy drug capecitabine (Xeloda) along with the aromatase inhibitor letrozole (Femara). Lapatinib is also being studied in conjunction with trastuzumab.
In addition, standard chemotherapy agents such as doxorubicin (Adriamycin) can be effective in addressing HER2-positive breast cancers, although these drug treatments don't specifically target the HER2 healthy proteins.
Routine testing for HER2 is recommended for most women diagnosed with breast cancer because the results may have an impact on treatment recommendations together with decisions. Whenever teat cancer recurs or even spreads, the cancer cells ought to be retested for HER2 and for hormone receptor position, as these can shift from the original cancer in close to 20 to 30 percent of cases.
"This study represents a present debate within scientific practice - the chance of recurrence with regard to early-stage breast cancer patients with HER2 beneficial tumors one centimeter and smaller, " said Gonzalez-Angulo. "Our findings show that ladies with early period HER2 positive breast cancer have a 23 percent potential for recurrence. In set off, the five-year survival rate of all women with these early-stage breast cancer is a lot more than 90 percent.
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"The findings point out that physicians ought to consider offering a lot of these women Herceptin-based therapy inside post-operative, or adjuvant setting, " Gonzalez-Angulo continuing.
Current guidelines demand no additional treatments after surgery together with radiation if tumors are as few as five millimeters together with Herceptin-based adjuvant therapy should be discussed with patients in the event the tumors are with six to 10 millimeters, Gonzalez-Angulo discussed.
According to Gonzalez-Angulo, the number of patients with HER2 positive tumors smaller as compared to one centimeter is constantly on the increase as breast area cancer surveillance and early detection become increasingly sophisticated.
"Before now, there's been virtually no data regarding how to treat these women as they were excluded from all the definitive trials confirming Herceptin's benefit. This data highly suggests that we should instead rethink how we treat early-stage breast area cancer patients using HER2 positive tumors and likely make available anti-HER2 therapy inside adjuvant setting. "
For the retrospective study, Gonzalez-Angulo, Ranjay Rakkhit, M. D., a fellow in M. D. Anderson's Department of Hematology and Oncology and the study's first writer, and their fellow workers used M. Debbie. Anderson's Breast Tumor Research Database to investigate 965 patients taken care of between 1990 and 2002. All of the patients' tumors were smaller than one centimeter; patients whose receptor status can't be analyzed and/or experienced received adjuvant chemotherapy or Herceptin everytime were excluded. The median age in the women at diagnosis was 57 years. To validate that findings, a second cohort of 350 patients from European associations was also analyzed.