NCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research NewsNCI Cancer Bulletin: A Trusted Source for Cancer Research News
June 6, 2006 • Volume 3 / Number 23 E-Mail This Document  |  Download PDF  |  Bulletin Archive/Search  |  Subscribe

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Featured Article

Targeted Drug Helps Delay Progression of Advanced Breast Cancer

Women with HER-2 positive breast cancer whose disease progressed following treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin) benefited from taking the experimental drug lapatinib along with the standard treatment, capecitabine, researchers said last week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Atlanta.

The combination therapy delayed the growth or the spread of the cancer by about 4 months compared with capecitabine alone (8.5 months vs. 4.5 months).

"We believe that this is an effective regimen for women with HER-2 positive breast cancer and should be the new standard of care (for treating these women after trastuzumab fails)," said Dr. Charles E. Geyer, Jr., of the Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, who led the trial and presented the results at ASCO.

Lapatinib, or Tykerb, inhibits two proteins involved in cancer, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and HER-2, which is also targeted by trastuzumab. HER-2 sits on the surface of cells, and trastuzumab binds the part outside the cell, while lapatinib binds the part inside the cell.  Read more  

Director's Update

Honored to Help Bring New Treatments to Patients


Niederhuber Named Acting Director

On May 31, Dr. John Niederhuber was named Acting Director of NCI. For more information, go to http://www.cancer.gov/
aboutnci/acting-director-appointed
.

Last week Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt appointed me Acting NCI Director, effective June 11. It's an honor to be asked to head the largest cancer research organization in the world for any period of time, and I am eager to continue the work I've been engaged in at NCI over this past year.

It cannot be stressed enough that the NCI senior leadership team is committed to ensuring that, during this time of transition and uncertainty over budgetary issues, we remain focused on supporting scientific excellence, addressing high priority areas of research, and engaging in an ongoing dialogue with all members of the cancer community.  Read more  


The NCI Cancer Bulletin is produced by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). NCI, which was established in 1937, leads the national effort to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer. Through basic, clinical, and population-based biomedical research and training, NCI conducts and supports research that will lead to a future in which we can identify the environmental and genetic causes of cancer, prevent cancer before it starts, identify cancers that do develop at the earliest stage, eliminate cancers through innovative treatment interventions, and biologically control those cancers that we cannot eliminate so they become manageable, chronic diseases.

For more information on cancer, call 1-800-4-CANCER or visit http://www.cancer.gov.

NCI Cancer Bulletin staff can be reached at ncicancerbulletin@mail.nih.gov.