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NCI Cancer Center News

Team from Harvard and Mass General finds dual HER2 blockade significantly extends progression-free survival:

  • Posted: December 8, 2011

Adding pertuzumab to a combination of trastuzumab and docetaxel chemotherapy extended progression-free survival by a median of 6.1 months in patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer compared with patients who received the combination therapy with placebo. Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center conducted an international phase 3, double-blind, randomized trial, known as CLEOPATRA (CLinical Evaluation Of Pertuzumab And TRAstuzumab), in which they randomly assigned 808 patients to receive trastuzumab and docetaxel chemotherapy with pertuzumab or placebo. Progression-free survival (PFS) was 18.5 months for patients who received pertuzumab compared with 12.4 months for patients who received placebo — a 38 percent reduction in risk for progression.

Read the full press release from Massachusetts General Hospital

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Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.