Tuesday, December 7, 2021

HER-2: A Key Protein in Cancer Growth

Elizabeth Lee, MD, a medical oncologist at Dana Farber, is leading a clinical trial that is studying whether combining trastuzumab deruxtecan used for HER2 targeted therapies can be used in conjunction with olaparib in certain advanced HER2 positive cancers including ovarian, uterine and breast cancers.

The following is from an article by Nicole Davis, PhD, about this.

Medical oncologist Elizabeth Lee, MD, is also leading a clinical trial that includes gynecological cancers, specifically those that are positive for HER2, a key protein that helps drive cancer growth. Over the last two decades, a variety of HER2-targeted therapies have been developed, including trastuzumab deruxtecan, or T-DXd, which was recently approved by the FDA for patients with advanced forms of HER-2-positive breast cancer. T-DXd consists of two molecular components: trastuzumab, an antibody, which recognizes and neutralizes HER-2, and deruxtecan, a highly potent chemotherapy drug. These elements are chemically linked together, forming a kind of smart bomb that can deliver chemotherapy directly to HER2-positive tumor cells.

Now, Dr. Lee and her colleagues are studying whether T-DXd, in combination with another molecularly targeted drug called olaparib, can benefit patients with advanced forms of HER-2-positive cancers, including breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer. The team is conducting a phase 1 trial that is sponsored by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that will explore the safety and dosing of the drug combination. While it is still too early to know whether these drugs will prove effective, Dr. Lee is hopeful.
 

"The hope is that we'll be able provide more treatment options for patients and fit into the standard of care," said Dr. Lee. "There are a variety of gynecological cancers that express HER2, and our goal is to take advantage of that molecular vulnerability."

To find out more about clinical trials at DF, follow this link.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Genetic Signature of Tumor Cells Predicts Response to Chemotherapy Drug for Patients with Form of Ovarian Cancer

 

Gemcitabine has been used for decades on women with recurrent ovarian cancer. But why is it that some women do achieve remission and others do not?

Researchers at Dana Farber have uncovered a biomarker found in high grade serous ovarian cancer cells (HGSOC) that reveal if the cancer cells are under high stress to replicate their DNA. Turns out that those cancer cells respond very well to gemcitabine treatment. 

There were several other surprises for researchers in this study which is now in phase 3 of clinical trials. To read more about this form of precision medicine, follow this link