Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 11:40 EDT

New Study Results Bring Hope to Patients with Metastatic HER2-positive Breast Cancer

June 4, 2012

Breakthrough Study Led by Rethink Breast Cancer Board Member

TORONTO, June 4, 2012 /CNW/ – Today Rethink Breast Cancer (Rethink)
celebrates new study results that bring hope to the more than 5,000
Canadian women living with HER2-positive breast cancer. The study, led
by Dr. Sunil Verma, Medical Oncologist at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer
Centre and Rethink Board Member, showed promising results for a new
treatment for patients living with HER2-positive metastatic breast
cancer (mBC).

“We’ve seen first-hand the devastating impact that HER2-positive breast
cancer can have on young women and their families, and have lost many
vibrant members of our community to this disease,” says MJ DeCoteau,
Executive Director, Rethink. “We’re excited to see such strong data to
support a treatment that can help women with HER2-positive breast
cancer, and are committed to working with the Canadian breast cancer
community to ensure this treatment is available to the young Canadian
women who need it. We congratulate Dr. Sunil Verma and the global study
team for their breakthrough work.”

The results, presented yesterday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference, are from a Phase III clinical trial that studied a
treatment called T-DM1 (trastuzumab emtansine). The EMILIA Trial
investigated a novel drug T-DM1 versus standard of care therapy with
capecitabine and lapatinib in women with advanced HER2-positive breast

T-DM1 is an antibody-drug conjugate where the chemotherapy is linked to
the antibody Herceptin and allows for a more targeted delivery of
chemotherapy right to the cancer cell along with the targeted efficacy
of Herceptin. Along with the safety and efficacy results, the quality
of life benefits this drug could bring to women with HER2-positive
breast cancer are very promising.

“These data are a significant advance in the treatment of patients with
HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer,” says Dr. Verma, senior author
of the EMILIA Trial. “The efficacy and quality of life results from the
study demonstrate that trastuzumab emtansine is efficacious and
well-tolerated. This drug allows for a new way to deliver chemotherapy
in a targeted manner to the cancer cells. This is the first time such
an approach has been shown to be effective in cancer patients and opens
up a novel strategy to develop new drugs that combine targeted drugs
along with chemotherapy.”

Rethink is dedicated to responding to the unique needs of young women
with breast cancer, and has created a number of programs and resources
to help the 20 per cent of patients living with HER2-positive breast
cancer. About Her, a feature documentary produced by Rethink (and directed by Phyllis
Ellis) tells the inspiring stories of nine Canadian women diagnosed
with HER-2 positive breast cancer, and showcases the challenges faced
by women living with this type of cancer. Tellher2.ca, a social network
created by Rethink, connects and supports Canadian women touched by
HER2-positive breast cancer.

About Rethink Breast Cancer
By taking a breakthrough approach to all aspects of breast cancer, we
are thinking differently about how to beat breast cancer. Our mission
is to continuously pioneer cutting edge breast cancer research,
education and support that speaks fearlessly to the needs of young

SOURCE Rethink Breast Cancer

Source: PR Newswire