West Side Health & Fitness News & Notes
Summa clinical trial targets aggressive breast cancer
GREATER AKRON — Women with HER2 positive breast cancer may be eligible for an international phase III clinical trial designed to study whether a new drug can keep the cancer from coming back. The Aphinity trial is the first widely available human study of the drug Pertuzumab and is being offered in Northeast Ohio solely by Summa Health System, according to Summa officials.
About 20 percent of women with breast cancer have tumors that test positive for excessive amounts of HER2, a protein, according to Summa officials.
“The concern for women with HER2 positive breast cancer is that the cancer is often aggressive and more likely than other types to recur,” said Dr. Jennifer Payne, a Summa medical oncologist. “If this trial can show that a new supplemental drug is effective in keeping the cancer from coming back, then it means added peace of mind for patients and better outcomes.”
The study is open to newly diagnosed women with HER2 positive cancer who will be undergoing chemotherapy but have not started this treatment, according to Summa officials.
Many breast cancer patients undergo surgery and then chemotherapy, often with a drug called Herceptin. According to Summa officials, half of the patients in the Aphinity trial will receive Herceptin and the other half will receive Herceptin and the study drug, Pertuzumab. Scientists believe the two drugs together may work better than traditional treatment to target the HER2 protein and keep it from causing the cancer to return, according to Summa officials.
The Aphinity trial is under way at 566 locations around the world and comes after another study showing favorable results of Pertuzumab in breast cancer that had spread to other sites in the body, according to Summa officials.
The trial is available at Summa’s Jean and Milton Cooper Cancer Center in Downtown Akron, the Summa Health Center at Lake Medina and the Parkview Center at Summa Barberton Hospital.
For more information on the Aphinity trial, call 800-23-SUMMA.
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