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New treatment combination increases survival in patients with cancer of the uterus

April 11, 2018 15:02

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the addition of the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab, used to treat some breast cancers , may help in the treatment of women with a rare form of cancer of the uterus.

The findings, published in the «Clinical Oncology» magazine, shows that the drug extended the time without tumor progression at four to eight months in the seven study. Scientists believe that this could lead to the development of new guidelines recommendations on the treatment of this cancer subtype, known as serous carcinoma of the uterus.

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Serous carcinoma of the uterus is less than 10% of all kinds endometrium or uterine lining cancer diagnosed in the US each year, but about a third of patients in the 10 000 people with endometrial cancer die from the disease. Often aggressive carcinomas do not cause any symptoms until they begin to spread throughout the body. As a result, the standard chemotherapy and surgical treatment can stop the tumor from the development and distribution of approximately eight months.

Scientists from Johns Hopkins University to know that about 30% of all uterine serous carcinoma are HER2 / neu positive. HER2 / neu - receptor protein whose overexpression is observed in 10% of breast cancer. Trastuzumab binds to and blocks the HER2 / neu, suppressing tumor growth. It was shown that it is effective in HER2-positive breast cancer.

From August 2011 to March 2017, scientists from Yale University, as well as members of other 11 centers of cancer treatment in the United States, randomly selected 60 women with uterine serous carcinoma treated in these institutions. Patients were either standard chemotherapy (combination of carboplatin and paclitaxel), or the same chemotherapy, but with the addition of trastuzumab. In 41 women were diagnosed with uterine serous carcinoma of the third or fourth degree, and 17 persons - recurrent serous cancer of the uterus. All participants had HER2 / neu positive tumors.

The average time of progression-free survival rate of cancer in 28 patients in the control group was 8 months, and 30 people in the experimental group - 12.6 months. However, the difference was even more pronounced in 41 patients with carcinoma of the 3-4 stage, progression-free survival which changed from 9.3 months to 17.9 months with the addition of trastuzumab.

Survival without tumor progression in patients with relapsing disease patients increased from 6 months to 9.2 months.

Scientists believe that this combination of medicines to significantly improve overall survival in patients with advanced or recurrent uterine serous carcinomas that overexpress HER2 / neu. However, they note that more research is needed to confirm these results.

Source: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2018-04-drug-combo-survival-women-rare.html

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