[MOL] drug boosts breast cancer survival [00552] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] drug boosts breast cancer survival

Study: Genentech drug boosts breast cancer survival
    [10/13/2000; Reuters Health]

AMBURG, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Genentech Inc's monoclonal antibody
drug Herceptin can improve survival rates by 45 percent in some
breast cancer patients when used alongside chemotherapy, researchers
said on Friday.

The drug -- one of the top sellers for the U.S. biotech company -- is
indicated for treatment of women with metastatic, or spreading, breast
cancer whose tumours "overexpress" the HER2 (human epidermal growth
factor receptor2) protein.

Professor Ian Smith of London's Royal Marsden Hospital said new
analysis of pivotal trial data showed survival of strongly
HER2-positive patients was increased by 45 percent from 20 to 29
months when Herceptin was used in combination with chemotherapy.

When used alone, Herceptin boosted survival rates by 18 percent to
a median 16.4 months, he told a meeting of the European
Society for Medical Oncology.

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