CTCA researching medication for breast cancer patients

Researchers at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia are evaluating investigational medication for HER2-positive breast cancer.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia recently announced it is enrolling patients in a clinical study for a potential new treatment option for patients with HER2 positive breast cancer.

Known as HER2CLIMB, the treatment will evaluate if a medication called tucatinib can be effective for those with HER2 positive breast cancer.

HER2 is a protein that promotes aggressive spread of cancer cells. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 20 to 25 percent of annual breast cancer diagnoses are HER2 positive.

A HER2 positive disease is historically associated with shorter survival times and higher risk of recurrence and brain metastases.

“Despite recent advances in the treatment of HER2 positive breast cancer, there is an unmet need for newer therapies, especially for patients who have progressed after many therapies and for patients with brain metastasis,” said Sramila Aithal, MD, medical oncologist and medical director of the Breast Center at CTCA in Philadelphia.

“CTCA is focused on rapid transfer of treatment standards from clinical research to clinical practice, and with the encouraging anti-tumor activity seen with this drug in pre-clinical studies, we are excited to offer this option to patients.”

Tucatinib is designed to specifically target HER2 cells. It is an oral medication that can be taken at home. The safety and effectiveness of the medicine are not yet known.

CTCA and other clinical sites nationwide are hoping to enroll 480 patients in the HER2CLIMB study.

To be eligible for this study, patients must have locally advanced or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. In addition, patients must have already been treated with three common therapies for the treatment of breast cancer — trastuzumab, pertuzumab and T-DM1. Patients may be able to participate in the HER2CLIMB study even if they have brain metastases.

HER2CLIMB participants will receive standard, approved treatments and may also receive the investigational medication tucatinib.

More information can be found at cancercenter.com/clinical-trials or HER2CLIMB.com ••