Drug company, AstraZeneca has said that its “Enhertu” cancer drug has been shown to significantly help women suffering from a type of breast cancer that leaves them with poor treatment options, opening the door to a much larger potential patient group.
According to the drugmaker, the drug, Enhertu, has shown prolonged survival while slowing the progression of metastatic breast cancer with low levels of a protein known as HER2.
When compared with standard chemotherapy, the improvement was described as “clinically meaningful”. Meanwhile, detailed results of the late-stage trial would be presented at an as-yet-undisclosed medical conference.
The company has said it would reach out to regulatory agencies to enable a speedy review of a wider use for the drug.
The head of oncology research and development at AstraZeneca, Susan Galbraith said, “This is about redefining the categorisation of breast cancer and increasing the number of options for women”. The study was limited to low-HER2 patients whose tumours had spread to other parts of the body.
She also added that, while the new study had focused on women that had exhausted three to four earlier therapies, more trials would in future test Enhertu on women during earlier stages of the disease, both with high and low HER2, which would be a much larger patient group.
The Astrazeneca cancer drug, Enhertu, belongs to a promising class of therapies called antibody drug conjugates (ADC), which are engineered antibodies that bind to tumour cells and then release cell-killing chemicals.
The latest drug, Enhertu, has since been shown to help women with metastatic breast cancer characterised by high levels of HER2, compared to Kadcyla, the ADC drug from Switzerland’s Roche – the world’s biggest cancer drugmaker.
This is a welcomed development in the global health sector as thousands of women are diagnosed of this disease yearly and with limited options for survival.