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Breast Cancer treatment details. Biologic therapy. Chemotherapy. Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville, TN, United States

Survival: 21.0 months
Toxicity Grade: 4
Treatments: Biologic therapy
Country: United States
City/State/Province: Nashville, TN
Hospital: Sarah Cannon Research Institute
Journal: Link
Date: 8/2009

This study involved 41 women with HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer. The median age was 57 years (range 27-79).

The women in this study were given a combination of the chemotherapy agent gemcitabine and the biologic therapy agent trastuzumab, which is an antibody that targets the HER2 protein on cancer cells and leads to cell death.

The most severe adverse events reported in this study were of grade 4 and included neutropenia (10% of patients), thrombocytopenia (2%), and anemia (2%). In addition, grade 3 nausea, fatigue, and alopecia were each reported by 17% of patients.

The median progression-free survival was 4 months and median overall survival was 21 months.

This study was supported by Eli Lilly and Genentech, makers of gemcitabine (trade name: Gemzar) and trastuzumab (trade name: Herceptin), respectively.

Correspondence: Dr. Denise Yardley; email:

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