Across the seven major markets (US, Japan, UK, Germany, Italy,
France, Spain), approximately 450,000 women were estimated to have
developed breast cancer with more than 100,000 dying from the
disease. It is the leading cause of gynecological cancer-related
death among women, yet relative to other cancers features one of
the lowest mortality rates across the seven major pharmaceutical
Current Treatment Options
The typically treatment for metastatic cancer is chemotherapy.
Many drugs have activity in breast cancer, achieving response rates
of 30-50%, however, response durations are generally short and on
the order of months. Combination regimens and high dose
chemotherapy have been tried, but with little additional benefit
for most patients.
HER2 positive breast cancer used to have a worse prognosis, but
now with advent of trastuzumab supplemented treatment, it now
has a better prognosis than the common forms of breast cancer.
Herceptin is used in combination with most chemotherapy agents, and
has boosted response rates to 50-70%, however, most patients will
relapse. Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody designed to target
and block the function of the HER-2 receptor which is positively
correlated to tumor growth.