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Selected research from leading health care experts whose findings have a direct bearing on public policies effecting medical progress. Research is chosen based on its quality and relevance by the Medical Progress Today editorial staff.

Selected Research

Herceptin® Combined With Chemotherapy Improves Disease-Free Survival for Patients With Early-Stage Breast Cancer
National Cancer Institute, 4-25-05

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have reported their findings from two large randomized clinical trials on early-stage HER-2 postitive breast cancer.

Patients are considered "HER-2 positive" if their cancer cells "overexpress," or make too much of, a protein called HER-2, which is found on the surface of cancer cells…These tumors tend to grow faster and are generally more likely to recur than tumors that do not overproduce HER-2…

Patients in the clinical trials who received trastuzumab [Herceptin] in combination with standard combination chemotherapy had a 52 percent decrease in disease recurrence compared to patients treated with chemotherapy alone. This difference is highly statistically significant. "This is a major advance for many thousands of women with breast cancer," said NCI Director Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. "These results are one more example that we are at a major turning point in the use of targeted therapies to eliminate suffering and death from cancer," he added.



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