HER2+ breast cancer affects 15 % of patients and until recently was one of the cancers with the poorest prognosis. New therapies being developed to treat this tumour seek to advance in chronification of the disease and to offer patients innovative treatments that help improve survival in cases with the worst prognosis. Two new studies, in which we have participated at the Breast Cancer Group of the VHIO, offer encouraging data in this respect.
In the first, HER2CLIMB, led by Dr Mafalda Oliveira, we noted that the triplet combination of drugs based on tucatinib, trastuzumab and capecitabine is effective in patients with metastatic HER2+ tumours who were not responding to standard treatments. Following a year of therapy, 33 % of patients were progression-free. This is also a promising treatment option for patients with brain metastases.
In the second study, DESTINY-Breast01, which I co-led with Dr Javier Cortés, we noted that a new therapy directed against HER2, trastuzumab deruxtecan, based on a new generation of powerful chemotherapy medication conjugated to trastuzumab, reduced average progression time of the disease to 16.4 months in patients who had received prior treatments and now had no treatment options, having become resistant to most of the therapies.