Patients with cancers of the gullet, stomach and bowel respond well to new anti-HER2 drug
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Dublin, Ireland: An antibody that binds simultaneously to two distinct regions of the HER2 receptor to block the growth of cancer cells has shown promising signs of anti-tumour activity in a number of cancers including those of the gullet (oesophagus), stomach and bowel.

Results from the phase I clinical trial of the drug, called ZW25, had been presented earlier this year [1], but updated results, focusing on patients with oesophageal, stomach, bowel and several other cancers driven by HER2, were presented today (Wednesday) at the 30th EORTC-NCI-AACR [2] Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Dublin, Ireland.

HER2, a member of the human epidermal growth factor receptor family, is best known for the role it plays in breast cancer. Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is an effective treatment for HER2?positive breast cancers. Stomach cancers that are driven by HER2 also respond well to trastuzumab, but if the cancer returns in these patients, there are no further approved HER2?targeted agents. Unfortunately, for patients with other HER2?driven cancers, there are currently no approved HER2?targeted agents.

Dr Murali Beeram, a medical oncologist and clinical investigator at the START Center for Cancer Care, San Antonio, USA, told the Symposium that as of 16 October a

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