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Posted by on Sep 17, 2021 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study compared two treatment regimes for HER2 positive breast cancer; pyrotinib (Irene) plus vinorelbine (Navelbine), or lapatinib (Tykerb) plus capecitabine (Xeloda). It found that pyrotinib plus vinorelbine (PV) improved survival without cancer progressing compared to lapatinib plus capecitabine (LC). 

Some background

HER2-positive breast cancer tumors produce a protein called HER2. The HER2 protein enables the tumor to grow fast. HER2-positive tumors are often treated with a combination of treatments. One treatment is used to block the HER2 protein and stop the rapid growth of the tumor. Pyrotinib and lapatinib are such therapies.

The second treatment is a chemotherapy drug used to kill the tumor cells. Vinorelbine and capecitabine are commonly used chemotherapies. It is not clear which combination of treatments is most effective in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer that has progressed after previous anti-HER2 therapy.

Methods & findings

224 patients with advanced breast cancer were involved in this study. All patients had previously received trastuzumab (Herceptin) anti-HER2 therapy and a taxane chemotherapy. 132 patients received lapatinib plus capecitabine (LC and 92 patients received pyrotinib plus vinorelbine (PV). Patients were followed up for an average of 20 months.

The average time before the tumor progressed was 8.3 months with PV and 5 months with LCPV was associated with a 53% higher chance of surviving without cancer worsening compared to LC. PV was associated with a higher risk of severe diarrhea (23.9%) compared to LC (8.3%).

The bottom line

This study showed that a combination of pyrotinib plus vinorelbine was more effective in treating advanced HER2-positive breast cancer than a combination of lapatinib plus capecitabine. 

The fine print

This study is based in China. More studies are needed to see if these findings apply to other ethnicities.

Published By :

Frontiers in oncology

Date :

Aug 24, 2021

Original Title :

Pyrotinib Plus Vinorelbine Versus Lapatinib Plus Capecitabine in Patients With Previously Treated HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Multicenter, Retrospective Study.

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