August 16, 2017 – Better Survival


Anchor lead: For women with one type of breast cancer, using two agents improves survival, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Women who have breast cancer classified as HER2 positive because of the types of proteins found on the cancer cells may consider being treated with two antibody drugs rather than the standard one alone to improve their survival. That’s according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, describes the results.

Nelson: Women who had breast cancer that could be treated with surgery adding trastuzumab to pertuzumab was there any benefit? And if you look overall at three years this is a real testament to how far we’ve come I would argue. 94.1% with pertuzumab added to trastuzumab versus 93.2% cancer free survival. That’s astounding, so there is a measureable benefit, it’s a small one but you’re starting to get up someday hopefully we’ll cure everyone with breast cancer but you’re starting to get up very very high.  :31

Nelson says the strategy is just one example of using more than one drug at the same time to target cancer cells. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.