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SABCS: Combination Therapy Shrinks Brain Tumors

Lapatinib and capecitabine may benefit patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer

MONDAY, Dec. 17 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who have previously received trastuzumab, a combination of lapatinib (Tykerb) and capecitabine (Xeloda) may help shrink metastatic brain tumors, according to research presented Dec. 14 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

In this extension of the phase 2 study EGF105084, Nancy Lin, M.D., of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, and colleagues studied the combination regimen in 49 HER2-positive patients with radiographic evidence of progressive brain metastases, previous trastuzumab therapy and cranial radiotherapy.

The researchers found that 18 patients (37 percent) of those on the combination therapy experienced a brain tumor shrinkage of at least 20 percent and that 10 patients (20 percent) experienced a shrinkage of at least 50 percent.

"Studies to evaluate the activity of lapatinib in combination with chemotherapies and other targeted agents as initial therapy for recurrent brain metastases are ongoing," the authors conclude.

This study was sponsored in part by GlaxoSmithKline, the makers of Tykerb.


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