Metastatic Breast Cancer - News and Views

A place to discuss any and all metastatic breast cancer issues: research, clinical trials, new and emerging treatments, handling symptoms and side effects, advocacy and awareness...

Friday, January 16, 2009

More San Antonio Treatment Research News

Maybe you've read my blog from the 2008 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Below are results of some of the more promising clinical trials of drugs for metastatic breast cancer that were presented at this annual meeting. Abstract numbers have links for more information.

Doxil, Avastin and Zolinza are FDA approved, while access to Omnitarg (pertuzumab) and Everolimus (RAD001) is possible through enrolling in a clinical trial.

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DOXIL There was improved time to progression and a higher response rate with Doxil (pegylated liposomal doxorubicin) plus Taxotere vs Taxotere alone in women already treated with Adriamycin or epirubicin in metastatic breast cancer. Overall survival was similar. There were comparable cardiac (heart) and hematologic (bone marrow/blood) side effects between the two arms of the study, but increased rates of hand-foot syndrome and mouth sores with the combination of Doxil and Taxotere. Abstract 80.

AVASTIN In the AVADO study, addition of Avastin (bevacizumab) to Taxotere significantly improved progression-free survival in patients with locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. Continued use of maintenance Avastin after discontinuation of Taxotere delayed disease progression and death compared with placebo maintenance therapy. This benefit was unrelated to particular patient and disease characteristics. Abstract 903.

PERTUZUMAB Two phase II trials have already shown there is synergistic activity of Omnitarg (pertuzumab) and Herceptin (trastuzumab) in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. No side effects that require limiting the dose were seen. A Phase III trial of pertuzumab plus trastuzumab is currently recruiting patients with previously untreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Abstract 3138.

EVEROLIMUS (RAD001) in combination with Navelbine (vinorelbine) and Herceptin(trastuzumab) is a feasible treatment combination in patients with Herceptin-resistant metastatic breast cancer. Preliminary efficacy data from this Phase I study show high rates of stable disease. A 30 mg/week dose seems feasible, while a 5 mg/day dose is still under investigation. The treatment was generally well tolerated, with neutropenia being the most common treatment-related serious side effect. Abstract 406. In another Phase I study, Evorolimus in combination with Herceptin and Taxol, there was promising response in heavily treated patients whose tumors showed prior Herceptin resistance. Abstract 3119.

VORINOSTAT Given at 300 mg twice daily in combination with Avastin (bevacizumab) and Taxol (paclitaxel) Zolinza (vorinostat) showed activity in patients with previously untreated metastatic breast cancer. The treatment was generally well tolerated; however serious side effects included neutropenia, diarrhea, and sensory neuropathy. Abstract 404.