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New Combination Therapy Fails to Delay Progression of Advanced Breast Cancer

Docetaxel/ramucirumab is equivalent to docetaxel alone (December 13)

Adding the antibody therapy ramucirumab to the chemotherapy drug docetaxel did not delay disease progression in patients with HER2-negative advanced breast cancer, according to the results of a phase III study presented at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 10–14.

“Antiangiogenic agents have been successful in prolonging survival in a number of solid tumor types, including colon cancer and gastric cancer, but unfortunately, for reasons that we don’t understand, they have not yet been shown to work for breast cancer,” said lead investigator John R. Mackey, MD.

Between August 2008 and December 2011, researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, enrolled 1,144 patients in a placebo-controlled, randomized, multinational, phase III clinical trial. The patients were randomly assigned to treatment with docetaxel plus ramucirumab or docetaxel plus placebo. To be eligible for the study, the patients had to have HER2-negative breast cancer that could not be removed surgically or HER2-negative, locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer.

After a median follow-up period of 16.2 months, progression-free survival was 9.5 months in the docetaxel/ramucirumab arm and 8.2 months in the docetaxel/placebo arm.

The study was funded by Eli Lilly and Company.

Source: AACR; December 13, 2013.

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