- Biosimilar drug is an identical copy of the original drug that can be manufactured by a different company.
- A research team from the University of California compared the biosimilar form of trastuzumab drug with the original drug for breast cancer treatment.
- Biosimilar trastuzumab drug may increase treatment options for breast cancer.
Biosimilar form of Trastuzumab was found to show equal response as that of trastuzumab drug used in breast cancer treatment, finds a study from the University of California.
The study was published online in the journal JAMA.
‘Biosimilar form of Trastuzumab drug shows potential for breast cancer treatment.’
Biosimilar drug is a biological product which is an identical copy of the original drug that is manufactured by a different company.
Biological products include monoclonal antibodies that can be used for cancer treatment. Drugs like trastuzumab improves overall survival and slows down progression of metastatic breast cancer.
The Phase 3 clinical trial of the study was conducted by randomly administering biosimilar trastuzumab drug along with a taxane to breast cancer patients. This was done to compare the response rate and safety after 24 weeks. Chemotherapy drugs were administered following the antibody for 24 weeks, until there were any toxic effects or disease progression.
The response rate after 24 weeks was considered as complete or partial response.
The study findings showed an overall response rate of 70% for biosimilar form of trastuzumab drug when compared to 64% for trastuzumab drug. After 48 weeks, there was no significant difference between biosimilar form and trastuzumab for cancer progression.
Around 99% and 95% of patients had atleast 1 adverse event, between biosimilar and trastuzumab drug.
The authors wrote,"Trastuzumab is not widely available around the world."
"A biosimilar treatment option may increase global access to biologic cancer therapies, provided, among other issues, that the price of the biosimilar is sufficiently inexpensive to enable women in non-high-income countries to access this therapy."
However, further study is required to know the safety and long-term benefit of the drug.
- Hope S. Rugo et.al. MD1 Effect of a Proposed Trastuzumab Biosimilar Compared With Trastuzumab on Overall Response Rate in Patients With ERBB2 (HER2)-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer : A Randomized Clinical Trial ; JAMA (2016) doi:10.1001/jama.2016.18305