"Stunning" Results of Breast Cancer Clinical
Women with early-stage breast cancer who have extra copies of the gene HER2 or its protein should be treated with chemotherapy and the drug trastuzumab (Herceptin), according to the results of three clinical trials reported in the October 20 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).
The results, from two trials in the United States and one in Europe, demonstrate that for many women with early-stage HER2-postive breast cancer, an aggressive disease that tends to recur, adding trastuzumab to chemotherapy can reduce the risk of recurrence by 50 percent compared with chemotherapy alone.
"We have made a radical advance in the treatment of breast cancer," says Dr. Edith A. Perez of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, who chaired the trial led by the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG). "The publication of these results will show the tremendous impact this therapy has on people's lives now." Read more
Guest Update by Dr. John E. Niederhuber
No Time or Excuse for Stagnation
The activity and energy level at NCI, as I've found over the past month, is astounding. Each week brings a significant event or announcement that has transformational potential. Take the recent announcements of awards to fund components of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer and the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer centers: initiatives that could have wide-ranging effects for cancer patients and those at risk of cancer.
It's also rewarding to take part in essential NCI activities, especially community outreach. In just the past week, I met with leaders from the Association of American Cancer Institutes, the New York University Cancer Institute, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to talk about NCI's programs and initiatives that are keeping us headed toward the 2015 goal. Read more