Therapy for breast cancer may be reduced by half

The use of trastuzumab in patients with breast cancer at an early stage within six months as effectively as the standard 12-month therapy regimen. The results of clinical trials, the scientists intend to present at the annual meeting of the American society of clinical Oncology (ASCO) next month.

“Reducing the duration of therapy in half will reduce the number of patients having to stop treatment because of side effects, and is likely to affect the cost of treatment”, – quotes Reuters the words of the President of ASCO Bruce Johnson (Bruce Johnson).

The results of the CI with the participation of 4089 patients showed that after surgery, 89, 4% of patients receiving trastuzumab for six months, survived and four years later, still had no signs of the disease. Among patients taking the therapy for 12 months, the figure was 89.9 percent. In addition, heart problems occurred in 4% of women from group a six-month therapy compared to 8% in the 12-month group.

“We are confident that this will be the first step on the way to reduce the duration of treatment of many women with HER-2 positive breast cancer,” said the study authors. Currently, they continue to explore the effects of duration of therapy on quality of life of patients and to identify patients for whom a reduction in treatment will be most effective.

However, several studies showed the effectiveness of reducing therapy to six months, comparable to the 12-month regime. Underlines that the use of trastuzumab for one year is the only FDA approved indication for treatment of HER-2 positive breast cancer.