- Adding trastuzumab drug to the uterian cancer chemotherapy regimen may help treat a rare form of uterine cancer more effectively.
- In the clinical trial, the drug extended the length of time to tumor progression by four to eight months in the seven-year trial period.
- This drug may help make new national guidelines for treating uterine serous carcinoma, a rare form of uterine cancer.
Trastuzumab drug in combination with a normal chemotherapy regimen of uterine cancer can lead to the treatment of uterine serous carcinomas, a rare form of uterine cancer. The findings of this study are published in the journal of Journal of Clinical Oncology
Tumors can be kept from growing as their associated amount of time for growth can be lengthened by this drug.
‘Since nearly 30 percent of all uterine serous carcinomas test positive for HER2/neu breast cancer. Trastuzumab which is currently used to treat HER2 positive breast cancer could now be used to bind to and block HER2/neu and thereby keep them from driving tumor growth.’
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody drug that can extend the length of time to Tumor progression by 4-8 months. These scientists believe that new national guidelines can be made for treating this uterine serous carcinoma.
This Uterine serous carcinoma is known to make up for nearly 10 percent of all cancers of the endometrium, diagnosed in the United States each year.
But due to its aggressive nature, it accounts for nearly a third of the 10,000 endometrial cancer deaths annually.
Symptoms in case of aggressive cancer may not show until the cancer has begun to spread throughout the body and as a result, the average time that standard chemotherapy or surgical treatments can keep the tumor from growing can be called as progression-free survival.
This progression-free survival is normally only about eight months. The lead researcher fader and her colleagues conducted the study based on their knowledge that nearly thirty percent of all uterine serous carcinomas test positive for HER2/neu receptor breast cancer. This HER2/neu receptor over expressed in about 10 percent of all breast cancers.
Trastuzumab drug can bind to the HER2/neu receptor and block it from driving tumor growth. It has also shown effectiveness in so-called HER2 positive breast cancers.
The study was conducted from August 2011 through March 2017 at 11 other cancer treatment centers in the U.S.; there they assigned 61 women with uterine serous carcinoma to receive either the standard chemotherapeutic regimen--a combination of the drugs carboplatin and paclitaxel--or those drugs plus trastuzumab.
Among the 61 participants nearly 41 of them had advanced uterine serous carcinoma, and 17 had recurrent uterine serous carcinoma. All tested positive for the HER2/neu receptor.
Nearly 28 controls receiving only the standard carboplatin and paclitaxel combination had an average progression-free survival time of eight months,
While in 30 controls who received trastuzumab, in addition, had an average progression-free survival time of 12.6 months.
But in 41 patients this difference in progression-free survival time with advanced disease, was remarkable as their progression-free survival time went from an average of 9.3 months to 17.9 months with the addition of trastuzumab.
A larger study is needed to fully understand drug combination that can confirm the findings and potentially extend survival time even more.
The lead author notes that using trastuzumab to selectively treat uterine serous carcinoma that expresses HER2/neu is part of a broader trend at Johns Hopkins and other cancer centers to use the tools of tailored therapy, or precision medicine.
New Drug Combo Improves Survival of Women with Rare Uterine Cancer - (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/new_drug_combo_improves_survival_of_women_with_rare_uterine_cancer)