Combo therapy with Tykerb fights brain metastases
LONDON (Reuters) - A combination drug treatment that includes Tykerb, know generically as lapatinib, appears to be able to fight breast cancer that has spread to the brain, GlaxoSmithKline Plc announced Sunday.
An extension to an earlier phase II study involving 49 patients showed 20 percent of those receiving Tykerb and Xeloda experienced at least a 50 percent volume reduction in measurable brain metastases, cancer that has spread from its site of origin.
The finding is significant because up to one third of women with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer may develop brain metastases.
The results were presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in San Antonio, Texas.
Tykerb, a once-daily pill, was approved by U.S. regulators in March and won a conditional green light from the European Medicines Agency on Friday.
It is recommended as a treatment, in combination with Xeloda, for patients with advanced or metastatic breast cancer whose tumors over-express protein HER2.