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Drugs. 2010 Dec 3;70(17):2259-67. doi: 10.2165/11205900-000000000-00000.

Trastuzumab: in HER2-positive metastatic gastric cancer.

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Adis, a Wolters Kluwer Business, Auckland, New Zealand.


Trastuzumab is a recombinant humanized IgG₁ monoclonal antibody directed against the extracellular domain of the human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2 (HER2) that inhibits HER2-dependent tumour cell proliferation and survival. Proliferation of gastric cancer cells overexpressing HER2 is inhibited by trastuzumab in vitro and in vivo. HER2-positive expression (defined as immunohistochemistry 3+ or fluorescence in situ hybridization-positive) was observed in 22.1% of almost 4000 metastatic gastric cancers in patients who were screened for randomization in the open-label, multicentre, phase III ToGA trial. In patients with HER2-positive metastatic gastric cancer (n = 584), median overall survival (primary endpoint) was significantly longer for recipients of intravenous trastuzumab plus chemotherapy (comprising cisplatin and either fluorouracil or capecitabine) than in those receiving chemotherapy alone in the ToGA trial. Furthermore, the overall response rate was significantly higher and the median time to disease progression and median time of progression-free survival were also significantly longer with trastuzumab plus chemotherapy than with chemotherapy alone. In general, combination therapy with trastuzumab and chemotherapy was relatively well tolerated in patients with metastatic gastric cancer with no reports of new or unexpected adverse events.

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