Safety and efficacy of the combination of trastuzumab with docetaxel for HER2-positive women with advanced breast cancer. A review of the existing clinical trials and results of the expanded access programme in the UK.
Papazisis KT., Habeshaw T., Miles DW., Herceptin-EAP Study Group None.
Trastuzumab is a humanised monoclonal antibody against the extracellular domain of HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor-2) that is overexpressed in about 25% of human breast cancers. It has shown clinical benefit in HER2-positive breast cancer cases when used alone or in combination with chemotherapy. Trastuzumab increases the response rate to chemotherapy and prolongs survival when used in combination with taxanes. In this article, we review the clinical trials where trastuzumab has been administered together with docetaxel, and we present the results of the trastuzumab expanded access programme (EAP) in the UK. Combination of trastuzumab with docetaxel results in similar response rates and time-to-progression with the trastuzumab/paclitaxel combinations. The toxicity of the combination and the risk of heart failure are low. The clinical data for the docetaxel/trastuzumab combination indicate a favourable profile from both the efficacy and the safety point of view and confirm the feasibility and safety of trastuzumab administration both as monotherapy and in combination with docetaxel.