Spanish oncologist Jose Baselga is one of the leading cancer research scientists in the world. Originally from Vall D’ Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, he is now at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was interviewed recently about 3 key clinical trials he directed, from which he predicted that treatment of breast cancer would take a new turn in the near future, as the result of new combination therapy results from these trials.
The first trial was BOLERO-2, which combined MTOR Inhibitor everolimus with anti-estrogen drug exemestane. The combination regimen produced more than twice the progression free survival of exemestane alone.
The second trial combined anti-Her2 targeted therapy Herceptin with new and different anti-Her2 therapy pertuzumab (both from Genentech). The dual therapy regimen produced a response even in patients that had already progressed on either Herceptin or pertuzumab alone.
The third trial showed that Herceptin added to lapatinib (another targeted therapy) produces a positive result compared to single therapy.
The conclusion from these three studies is that combining targeted therapies can deliver longer survival without cancer growth than one therapy alone, without unacceptable toxicity.
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