Next Step

Herceptin is the must drug for HER2 positive breast cancer, which has otherwise a poor prognosis. Yet this promising drug doesn’t work for all the patients and even if it’s working, as the time goes by, it eventually loses the effectiveness. I have used Herceptin for 6 years continually, but cancer had grown even in the 1st & 2nd regimens until I added Tykerb. When I had two year remission, I was using Herceptin and Tykerb on top of other conventional chemo, and when I withdrew Tykerb, cancer became active again and has kept growing. Receiving the bad CT result, now I wonder if Herceptin is no more effective or maybe it wasn’t even from the very beginning.

In the email with the CT result, the oncologist asked me about a clinical trial with MM302, which was originally recommended by Dr. Slamon at UCLA. MM302 is a new drug of the same family with Adriamycin, which is one of major drugs for HER2 positive BC, but when the previous doctor wanted to use it for me in 2010, a genetic test (TOPO) indicated this drug was not compatible for me. So I have never used it yet. I emailed to the doctor who was in charge of this study asking if MM302 could be still beneficial for me or not. The reply came promptly but it said that the answer was unknown until I try it regardless of the status of TOPO test.
Since this study is about a sort of Adriamycin and Herceptin, which I started doubting the effectiveness, I am not sure if it’s worth betting.

I have googled other clinical trials for anti-resistant Herceptin. I found four, but practically only one was possible: It’s a study of Poziotinib, alternative of Herceptin, developed in China. In the phase I study this drug was effective for 60% of metastatic status women, who had failed with multiple regimens.

In the meeting with the oncologist, I discussed about MM302 and Poziotinib, and got agreement to explore the study of Poziotinib. Meanwhile I asked to add Tykerb, again, instead of Afinitor on current chemo, Abraxane and Herceptin. According to news, a recent study showed that Tykerb was much more effective than Herceptin at stopping breast cancer stem cells from growing when it was combined with the IL-8 drug.

Nobody knows if the 2nd round of Tykerb is effective on me or not until I try it. Chemo therapy is all big gambling, but this is what I will do next. I pray for God’s guidance continually.

2 thoughts on “Next Step

  1. Praying for you Kathy as we have been for 6 yrs…hoping the right treatment will be found!

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