EORTC study opens for elderly patients with HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer

June 19, 2013, European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer

Despite the fact that the incidence of cancer is many fold higher in persons over 65 years of age, we still have an inadequate understanding on how best to treat these older cancer patients. Furthermore, even though elderly patients are occasionally included in clinical trials, those elderly patients who are eventually included are mostly 'healthy' (fit) elderly patients. Thus, the broader elderly patient population is not well represented in clinical trials. The EORTC Cancer in the Elderly Task Force is now starting a new phase 2 trial in precisely this group of patients: EORTC 75111 – 10114 for non-fit elderly patients with HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer.

Overall survival for patients with HER-2 positive breast cancer is improved with a combination of chemotherapy and agents that specifically target the HER-2 (human 2) gene. Chemotherapy, however, is often accompanied with side effects that can adversely affect health related quality of life in elderly patients. EORTC trial 75111-10114 attempts to find out if HER-2 targeted regimens with minimal toxicity for the might delay, or even completely obviate, the use of conventional chemotherapy. New HER-2 targeted strategies have created an opportunity to try this strategy.

Patients who progress under pertuzumab and trastuzumab will be allowed to switch to Trastuzumab-DM1 conjugate (T-DM1), another recently available targeted therapy. The binding of trastuzumab to the cell allows intracellular delivery of the cytotoxic agent DM1. The trastuzumab-DM1 conjugate has been shown to have a favorable toxicity profile.

The main objectives of EORTC trial 75111 – 10114 are to evaluate the efficacy as measured by progression free survival at six months following treatment with pertuzumab combined with trastuzumab or pertuzumab combined with trastuzumab plus metronomic chemotherapy in elderly patients and to select attractive treatments for further development in Phase III. Metronomic chemotherapy uses low doses of chemotherapy drugs so as to minimize toxicity. This EORTC trial will include elderly patients with histologically proven HER-2 positive invasive , but might also be suitable for fit (category 1) who are wary of the side effects associated with conventional chemotherapy.

Prof. Hans P.M.W. Wildiers, Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven - Campus Gasthuisberg, Chair of the EORTC Cancer in the Elderly Task Force, and Coordinator of this study says "With these very well tolerated new targeted therapies, we hope to control tumor growth sufficiently long so that toxic chemotherapy would not be needed, and many older patients would more likely die from ageing than cancer."

Explore further: Biomarker analysis identified women most likely to benefit from T-DM1

Related Stories

Biomarker analysis identified women most likely to benefit from T-DM1

April 7, 2013
For women with metastatic, HER2-positive breast cancer, the amount of HER2 on their tumor might determine how much they benefit from a drug called trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), according to data from a subanalysis of the ...

EORTC intergroup trial opens for patients with resected head of pancreas adenocarcinoma

June 4, 2013
Surgical resection is considered a potentially curative treatment for pancreatic adenocarcinoma, however, the five year survival rate of patients receiving this treatment is less than 20 percent. Adjuvant treatment, therefore, ...

Phase II study shows new cancer drug combination significantly delays breast cancer progression

September 25, 2011
The first randomised trial to investigate the use of trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) – an antibody-guided drug – for the initial treatment of HER2- (human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) positive metastatic breast ...

EORTC BOS 2 trial opens for patients with resectable liver metastases from colorectal cancer

June 4, 2013
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most frequent cause of cancer-related mortality in both Europe and the United States. Treatment for patients with resectable hepatic metastases from colorectal cancer consists of surgery ...

New breast cancer drug halts tumor growth better than standard therapy

June 3, 2012
A new cancer treatment that links chemotherapy with an agent that homes in on specific breast cancer cells was significantly better than the current drug regimen at keeping patients' advanced tumors from progressing, according ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover novel mechanism linking changes in mitochondria to cancer cell death

February 20, 2018
To stop the spread of cancer, cancer cells must die. Unfortunately, many types of cancer cells seem to use innate mechanisms that block cancer cell death, therefore allowing the cancer to metastasize. While seeking to further ...

Stem cell vaccine immunizes lab mice against multiple cancers

February 15, 2018
Stanford University researchers report that injecting mice with inactivated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) launched a strong immune response against breast, lung, and skin cancers. The vaccine also prevented relapses ...

Induced pluripotent stem cells could serve as cancer vaccine, researchers say

February 15, 2018
Induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, are a keystone of regenerative medicine. Outside the body, they can be coaxed to become many different types of cells and tissues that can help repair damage due to trauma or ...

Team paves the way to the use of immunotherapy to treat aggressive colon tumors

February 15, 2018
In a short space of time, immunotherapy against cancer cells has become a powerful approach to treat cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer. However, to date, most colon tumours appeared to be unresponsive to this kind ...

Can our genes help predict how women respond to ovarian cancer treatment?

February 15, 2018
Research has identified gene variants that play a significant role in how women with ovarian cancer process chemotherapy.

First comparison of common breast cancer tests finds varied accuracy of predictions

February 15, 2018
Commercially-available prognostic breast cancer tests show significant variation in their abilities to predict disease recurrence, according to a study led by Queen Mary University of London of nearly 800 postmenopausal women.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.