Lead Investigator Emphasizes Impact of Equivalent Efficacy With Trastuzumab Biosimilar in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“With drug prices continuing to rise, access to certain cancer treatments is becoming more challenging for patients facing financial limitations.

“Biosimilars could make it easier for some patients to afford their medications, especially those outside of the United States where these types of agents are more common, says Hope S. Rugo, MD.

“Rugo is the lead investigator on the Heritage study, which is evaluating MYL-1401O, a proposed biosimilar for trastuzumab (Herceptin), in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.”

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Updated Testing Guidelines Make More Women Eligible for Herceptin, yet Benefit Uncertain

Excerpt:

“Changes to HER2 testing guidelines for breast cancer in 2013 significantly increased the number of patients who test HER2-positive, according to a new study by Mayo Clinic researchers published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Cancers that have an excess of HER2 protein or extra copies of the HER2 gene are called HER2-positive and can be treated with drugs like Herceptin that target HER2. HER2 stands for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

“Mayo Clinic researchers found that the number of HER2-positive breast cancers doubled after testing guidelines were changed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists (ASCO/CAP) in 2013. ‘The new guidelines were established to reduce the number of equivocal cases, where HER2 status is uncertain, but we found that they did just the opposite,’ says senior study author Robert Jenkins, M.D., Ph.D., the Ting Tsung and Wei Fong Chao Professor of Individualized Medicine Research and Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic. ‘The number of equivocal cases went up, resulting in additional testing and a much larger number of women with cancers ultimately labeled as HER2-positive.’ ”

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Novel Agents Emerging in Pipeline for HER2+ Breast Cancer

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“There have been significant advances for the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer over the last decade, says Denise A. Yardley, MD.

“ ‘When we look at the HER2-positive patient, at this point, we have really come a long way with the initial approval of trastuzumab (Herceptin), followed by the addition of pertuzumab (Perjeta), based on the CLEOPATRA data,’ explains Yardley, senior investigator, Breast Cancer Research Program, principal investigator, Sarah Cannon Research Institute. ‘The EMILIA trial has now added T-DM1 (ado-trastuzumab emtansine; Kadcyla), a novel antibody-drug conjugate targeted against HER2.’

“While these FDA approvals have made a large impact for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, there is still more work to be done. ‘We are really trying to extend the number of novel agents to add to the HER2-population arena,’ Yardley notes.”

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Puma Biotechnology Submits Marketing Authorization Application for PB272 (Neratinib) as Extended Adjuvant Treatment of HER2-Positive Early Stage Breast Cancer in Europe

Excerpt:

“Puma Biotechnology, Inc. (NYSE: PBYI), a biopharmaceutical company, announced that it has submitted its Marketing Authorization Application (MAA) to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for neratinib. The potential indication is for the extended adjuvant treatment of HER2-positive early stage breast cancer that has previously been treated with trastuzumab (Herceptin®)-based adjuvant therapy. The submission is based upon the ExteNET Phase III study, which reached its primary endpoint whereby neratinib demonstrated a statistically significant reduction of risk of invasive disease recurrence or death versus placebo.”

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Neoadjuvant HER2+ Breast Cancer Options Need Refinement, Expert Says

Excerpt:

“While recent findings from the I-SPY 2 trial have shown potential with the combination of ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, the neoadjuvant space still has a lot of work ahead, according to Lisa A. Carey, MD.

“Results presented at the 2016 AACR Annual Meeting1 showed that, out of the 249 patients enrolled on the I-SPY 2 study, 54% of those who received T-DM1/pertuzumab experienced a pathological complete response (pCR) rate compared with 22% of those who received the combination of paclitaxel (Abraxane) plus trastuzumab (Herceptin).

“This suggests that T-DM1 could increase overall survival (OS) in this patient population, but Carey adds more research with the regimen needs to be conducted.”

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Palbociclib Addition to Letrozole Improved PFS in ER+/HER2- Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Palbociclib (Ibrance), when added to letrozole, increased the median progression-free survival (PFS) rate in patients with ER-positive, HER2-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer by >10 months, according to results from the phase III PALOMA-2 trial presented at the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting. 

“The risk of disease progressed was reduced by 42 with the addition of palbociclib, a CDK4/6 inhibitor, when compared with letrozole alone. The combination of palbociclib and letrozole was granted an accelerated approval in February 2015, based on the phase II PALOMA-1 study. These results from PALOMA-2 provide confirmation of the combination’s benefits in the frontline setting.

“ ‘These data represent the longest frontline improvement in median PFS seen to date in women with advanced ER+ breast cancer,’ senior study author Dennis J. Slamon, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology in the UCLA Department of Medicine, said when presenting the findings at ASCO.”

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Comparing Combination Treatments in HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“In patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer, data from a phase III trial has shown a significantly higher pathological complete response (pCR) rate with neoadjuvant docetaxel plus carboplatin plus trastuzumab plus pertuzumab (TCH+P) versus trastuzumab emtansine plus pertuzumab (T-DM1+P).

“According to the results of the KRISTINE trial, the TCH+P regimen was also associated with a higher rate of breast conserving surgery. However, researchers reported that T-DM1+P had a notably better safety profile and that health-related quality of life and physical functioning were maintained longer.

“ ‘Neoadjuvant TCH+P achieved a superior pCR rate compared with T-DM1+P and was associated with a higher breast-conserving-surgery rate,’ said Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, General Internal Medicine, Hematology & Oncology, UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, CA. ‘However, neoadjuvant T-DM1+P had a more favorable safety profile, with lower incidence of grade 3 or greater adverse events, serious adverse events, and adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation.’ ”

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Neoadjuvant T-DM1/Pertuzumab Combo Boosts pCR in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Neoadjuvant ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) in combination with pertuzumab (Perjeta) improved pathologic complete response (pCR) compared with standard of care in patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, according to recently reported data from the adaptively randomized I-SPY 2 trial.

“Of the 249 patients with HER2-positive disease included in the I-SPY 2 trial, 54% of those who received T-DM1/pertuzumab experienced a pCR compared with 22% of those who received the combination of paclitaxel (Abraxane) plus trastuzumab (Herceptin).

“These findings suggest that T-DM1 may ultimately increase survival in these patients, says lead study author Angela M. DeMichele, MD, professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.”

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​​A Presurgery Combination Therapy May Improve Outcomes for Women With HER2-positive Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Results from the I-SPY 2 TRIAL show that a neoadjuvant (presurgery) therapy combination of the antibody-drug conjugate trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) and pertuzumab (Perjeta) was more beneficial than paclitaxel plus trastuzumab for women with HER2-positive invasive breast cancer, according to research presented here at the AACR Annual Meeting 2016, April 16-20.

“In this portion of the I-SPY2 TRIAL, the investigators tested if T-DM1 plus pertuzumab could bring a substantially greater proportion of patients to the primary endpoint of pathological complete response [pCR] compared with paclitaxel plus trastuzumab. They also examined whether this combination could meet that goal without the need for patients to receive paclitaxel. pCR is an outcome in which, following neoadjuvant therapy, no residual invasive cancer is detected in the breast tissue and lymph nodes removed during surgery.”

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