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

Sequencing genomes of Nigerian women could help prevent many lethal breast cancers

August 21, 2018
For the first time, DNA contributed by Sub-Saharan African women has been thoroughly evaluated with innovative genomics technology in an effort to understand the genetic bases for breast cancer in African populations.

Scientists take step toward new, targeted lung cancer treatment

August 21, 2018
Scientists have identified a key molecular player in a subtype of lung cancer which could lead to a new way to tackle the disease, according to research published in Nature Communications.

First in-depth profile of CAR T-cell signals suggests how to improve immunotherapy

August 21, 2018
CAR T-cell therapy, which reprograms immune cells to fight cancer, has shown great promise in people with some blood cancers who have not responded to other treatments. But until now, the underlying biological pathways enabling ...

Simple test could identify bladder cancer patients who won't respond to immunotherapy

August 21, 2018
Patients who are unlikely to benefit from a commonly used immunotherapy for bladder cancer could be identified by a simple blood test, according to researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).

New compound advances into Phase 1 trial for pancreatic cancer

August 21, 2018
A compound discovered at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) has advanced into a Phase 1 trial for metastatic pancreatic cancer. Called CEND-1 (scientifically known as iRGD), the compound was exclusively ...

Annual pap test a 'thing of the past?'

August 21, 2018
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has released new recommendations on screening for cervical cancer. These latest recommendations continue the trend of decreasing participant burden by lengthening ...

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.