Switzerland-based biotech company Roche will present the results from a study of pertuzumab in HER2-positive breast cancer patients at the 34th nnual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium from 6-10 December 2011.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III pivotal CLEOPATRA study compared the combination of pertuzumab, Herceptin (trastuzumab) and docetaxel chemotherapy with Herceptin and chemotherapy alone in people with untreated HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

The study also evaluated the efficacy and safety of pertuzumab in combination with Herceptin and docetaxel chemotherapy.

Pertuzumab is an investigational HER2-targeted medicine that prevents the binding of the HER2 receptor with other HER receptors, resulting in inhibition of cancer cell growth.

Herceptin is a humanised antibody and acts by suppressing HER2 and activating the body’s immune system to target and destroy the tumour.

The modes of action of pertuzumab and Herceptin are found to complement each other as both of them attach to the HER2 receptor, but on different regions.

Herceptin has demonstrated efficiency in treating both early and advanced HER2-positive breast cancer as well as HER2-positive advanced stomach cancer.

Roche global product development chief medical officer and head Hal Barron said the company is further advancing against HER2-positive breast cancer to improve patient outcomes.

"Data at this conference reaffirm our commitment to discovering new treatments for HER2-positive breast cancer," Barron added.

The four-arm, randomised, Phase II NEOSPHERE neoadjuvant study showed that combination of pertuzumab, Herceptin and chemotherapy improved the rate of complete tumour disappearance in the breast by more than half in people with newlydiagnosed, early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer, compared with Herceptin plus chemotherapy alone.

Another randomised Phase II neoadjuvant study, TRYPHAENA, investigated the combination of pertuzumab and Herceptin with or without an anthracycline-based chemotherapy regimen.

The company said it will also present data from the VIRGO metastatic breast cancer registry that could affect treatment decisions for people with breast cancer.

Caption: Roche’s headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.