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A drug improves almost half of the tumors of the type of early breast cancer

The results of the SOLTI-TOT-HER3 study in patients with an early and aggressive type of breast cancer show that a single dose of the drug patritumab deruxtecan produces an improvement in tumors in 45% of the women studied. In the fight against breast cancer, the most frequently diagnosed tumor among women, great efforts continue to be devoted to developing new treatments that help increase the available arsenal.

One of the lines that is achieving the best results is the one that combines an antibody with a chemotherapy drug, which is known as an antibody-drug conjugate or ADC, and which works in the following way: it is administered intravenously and travels through the blood to the tumor cells, where the antibody recognizes the entry point of these malignant cells, enters and releases the chemotherapy it carries to destroy them.

It is the case of patritumab deruxtecan, which has been studied in patients with previously untreated hormone-sensitive (HR+) and HER2-negative (HER2-) early breast cancer. The results of the TOT-HER3 study, led by the president of the SOLTI research group, Aleix Prat, have been presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology ESMO Breast Cancer 2022 congress in Berlin.

The researchers have confirmed that, thanks to the drug, biological changes occur, such as the infiltration of immune cells in the tumor, a decrease in proliferation and high antitumor activity with tumor reduction in 45% of the patients included in the study. “The efficacy of this drug-antibody conjugate has been demonstrated for the first time in an early setting, as it had previously only been evaluated in patients with metastatic breast cancer.

Likewise, it is evident that the patients who benefit the most from the treatment are those with tumors with a more aggressive profile”, highlighted Prat, who is also head of the Medical Oncology Service at the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona. This study lays the foundations for future research to conclude whether these drugs can partially or fully replace the use of chemotherapy in early RH+/HER2 breast cancer, which affects 70% of patients with breast cancer, according to Prat.

Given the efficacy that the ADC patritumab deruxtecan has shown in the entire subgroup of patients with early hormone-sensitive (HR+)/HER2 disease, the launch of a new study -Valentine- is planned with the aim of testing this treatment, now in neoadjuvant treatment -that is, before surgery-, to check its efficacy against classical chemotherapy for the same patient population.

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