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Looking to Refine HER2-targeted Therapy

January 14, 2009

By NCI - National Cancer Institute

When is a patient a candidate for a targeted therapy? That’s a question some breast cancer researchers are attempting to answer in the wake of results from several studies presented in 2007 that suggested the definition of HER2-positive—that is, women whose breast tumors produce an excess of the HER2 protein—may be too strict. These retrospective studies showed that even women who were HER2-negative benefited from the HER2-targeted agent trastuzumab (Herceptin).

Everolimus Promising in Heavily Pre-treated Metastatic Breast Cancer

January 8, 2009

By CancerConsultants.com

Researchers from Europe have reported that the combination of the mTOR inhibitor everolimus (RAD 001) with Navelbine® (vinorelbine) and Herceptin® (trastuzumab) among heavily pre-treated, Herceptin-resistant metastatic breast cancer patients produced disease stabilization for at least six months in half of all patients. These results were recently presented at the 2008 annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Pooled Analysis Shows Low Incidence of Cardiac Complications with Herceptin® for Breast Cancer

January 7, 2009

By CancerConsultants.com

Researchers from Europe have reported that Herceptin® (trastuzumab)-based therapy is associated with a low incidence of cardiac complications in women with HER2-positive breast cancer. These results were presented at the 2008 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium December 10-14, 2008.

Although initial concerns regarding rates of clinically relevant cardiac complications associated with Herceptin-based therapy have largely been eased, physicians remain cautious about administration of Herceptin in terms of potential cardiac issues. Continued analysis of data regarding the association between Herceptin and cardiac health is ongoing in order to provide additional information that will aid in appropriate monitoring and further ease concerns regarding this issue.

Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble

January 1, 2009

By Amanda Gardner, Washington Post

The proportion of people taking widely prescribed oral osteoporosis drugs who develop a nasty jaw condition may be much higher than previously thought, a new study suggests.

Previous reports had indicated that the risk of developing osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) from bisphosphonates in pill form were “negligible,” although there was a noted risk in people taking the higher-dose intravenous form of the drug.

But Dr. Parish Sedghizadeh, an assistant professor of clinical dentistry at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in Los Angeles, said his clinic is seeing one to four new cases a week, compared to one a year in the past. This led him to investigate the phenomenon and publish the findings in the Jan. 1 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association