Positive Findings for HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatments Released at 2019 SABCS

Amanda DeBard | Dec 11, 2019 | News, Research

The 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS) kicked off with the presentation of two clinical trials that showed groundbreaking findings, adding to the treatment options for people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

“This is a great result for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients, with and without brain metastasis,” said Dr. Sherene Loi, head of the Translational Breast Cancer Genomics and Therapeutics Laboratory at Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Melbourne, Australia, who moderated the presentations.

The HER2CLIMB trial was unique in that it was open to patients with brain metastasis, or the presence of breast cancer in the brain, in addition to those without brain metastasis. Many clinical trials are not open to patients with brain metastasis. This trial compared the use of tucatinib to placebo in combination with trastuzumab and capecitabine in patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer.

Susan G. Komen Scientific Advisory Board Member Dr. Lisa Carey was involved the HER2CLIMB trial and said, “the results in patients with brain metastases are encouraging and show that we are gaining ground on this difficult-to-treat subset.”

She added that “tucatinib (added to capecitabine + trastuzumab) appears poised to become the preferred next-line therapy after [trastuzumab emtansine] T-DM1.”

Loi said, “There is great need for treatment for patients with brain metastasis. The data are very compelling; I would think this would be practice changing.”

The results of HER2CLIMB study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine, coinciding with release of the findings at SABCS.

A separate presentation focused on the DESTINY-Breast01 clinical trial. In this trial researchers tested the safety and efficacy of [fam]-trastuzumab deruxtecan, an antibody drug conjugate for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients who have received two or more prior therapies.In fact, patients on this study had received a median of six prior therapies.

The results show [fam]-trastuzumab deruxtecan as a potential new option for those patients who will likely have exhausted most, if not all, standard therapies for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

Komen Scholar Dr. Ian Krop was involved in the trial and presented the findings.

These are just two clinical trials presented at SABCS with significant implications for patients with breast cancer for which there is currently no cure.