I don't normally write about immediate news in medicine and science, after all, that's what the news wires are for, but one item caught my eye this morning… 'Refractory Inflammatory Breast Cancer May Respond to Lapatinib'.
Essentially, GSK's lapatinib
(Tykerb) yielded tumor responses in 39% of women with HER2+ inflammatory breast
cancer heavily pretreated with chemotherapy, including trastuzumab
(Herceptin). The phase II trial has been reported in The Lancet.
These patients typically have a poorer prognosis, so one wouldn't
expect much of a response, but almost 40% in a difficult to treat group
of patients is quite dramatic. What was even more interesting was the
lapatinib responses lasted an average of 20.9 weeks with a
progression-free survival of 14.9 weeks, a very good clinical response
indeed, suggesting use of the therapy earlier, ie upfront, may lead to
hopefully longer responses; time will tell, but the initial results are promising so far.
Kaufman, B., Trudeau, M., Awada, A., Blackwell, K., Bachelot, T., Salazar, V., DeSilvio, M., Westlund, R., Zaks, T., & Spector, N. (2009). Lapatinib monotherapy in patients with HER2-overexpressing relapsed or refractory inflammatory breast cancer: final results and survival of the expanded HER2+ cohort in EGF103009, a phase II study The Lancet Oncology DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(09)70087-7