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Survival data show benefit of pertuzumab in breast cancer

By News team

Combining the new anticancer drug pertuzumab with trastuzumab and docetaxel improves survival for patients with metastatic human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, results from a phase III trial show (published online in Lancet Oncology, 18 April 2013).

The primary results from this trial (the CLEOPATRA trial) showed improved progression-free survival with the pertuzumab regimen compared with trastuzumab and docetaxel alone (PJ 2013;290:329). An interim analysis of overall survival, a secondary endpoint of the trial, has now been reported.

After a median follow up of 30 months, survival was significantly improved in the pertuzumab group (hazard ratio for mortality 0.66, 95 per cent confidence interval 0.52-0.84, P=0.0008). Kaplan-Meier survival curves showed an early separation between the two treatment regimens.

Serious adverse events were reported in 36 per cent of pertuzumab patients and 29 per cent of patients taking trastuzumab and docetaxel alone. Addition of pertuzumab did not increase the rate of left ventricular systolic dysfunction.

The study authors describe the new regimen as a “substantial improvement on the standard of care for this population of patients”.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s appraisal of pertuzumab is expected to be published in November 2013.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2013.11120545

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Supplementary images

  • Breast cancer words (ragsac19/Dreamstime.com)

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