In a nutshell
This article reviewed the effectiveness and safety of neratinib (Nerlynx) in patients with human epidermal receptor growth factor 2+ (HER2+) breast cancer. This article concluded that neratinib is effective in treating patients with HER2+ breast cancer, with manageable side effects.
Between 15 and 20% of patients diagnosed with breast cancer have tumors that are positive for human epidermal receptor growth factor 2 (HER2+). This means that the cancer cells can be targeted with specific treatments.
Neratinib has recently been approved to treat stage 1-3 breast cancer that is HER2+. It is approved for use after the patient has already been treated with trastuzumab (Herceptin). The safety and effectiveness of neratinib for breast cancer that is HER2+ remain unclear.
Methods & findings
This article reviewed the results of several smaller studies that compared neratinib to a placebo (a substance with no active effect). All patients had HER2+ breast cancer. All patients had previously been treated with trastuzumab.
Significantly more patients treated with neratinib survived for 5 years without tumor growth or spread compared to the placebo group (90.2% vs. 87.7%). Treatment with neratinib was significantly associated with a 27% higher chance of surviving to 5 years.
More than 90% of patients reported diarrhea. This was the most common side effect associated with neratinib treatment. By giving patients loperamide (Imodium) before neratinib, this rate decreased by 40% with loperamide (Imodium) treatment. Other side effects included vomiting, nausea, and fatigue.
The bottom line
This article concluded that neratinib is an effective treatment for patients with HER2+ breast cancer, with manageable side effects. The authors suggest that patients who experience severe diarrhea need to be monitored.
The fine print
This article reviewed the results of several smaller studies. More studies are needed to determine the role of neratinib in the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer.
Talk to your doctor to see if treatment with neratinib may be an option for you.
Published By :
The Annals of pharmacotherapy
Jan 04, 2019
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