Seminar discusses treatment strategy for metastatic breast cancer

August, 22/2021 - 12:01

Vietnamese and international oncologists updated the situation and improvements in the treatment of HER2 positive (HER2+) breast cancer in Việt Nam at an online seminar on August 21.

Leading experts in oncology attended the online seminar on August 21.— Photo K (Cancer) Hospital

HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese and international oncologists updated the the situation as well as improvements in the treatment of HER2 positive (HER2+) breast cancer in Việt Nam at an online seminar on August 21.

The seminar "Optimisation of treatment strategy for patients with metastatic HER2 positive breast cancer," was held by the K (Cancer) Hospital and Roche Vietnam.

Experts said that in Việt Nam breast cancer was the most common type of cancer among Vietnamese women, with more than 21,000 new cases each year. Approximately, over 20 percent of breast cancer patients have overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).

A global cancer report in 2020 of Globocan also showed that in Việt Nam, breast cancer accounts for 25.8 percent of the new cancer cases in women every year. Overall, it also ranks third among the most common types of cancer across both genders, after liver cancer and lung cancer.

To improve and extend the patient's life, the first-line treatment for metastatic breast cancer in Việt Nam has kept up with the advanced regimens in the world. The treatment, based on dual anti-HER2 medicine therapy has significantly improved the survival rate of patients.

However, according to experts, finding a suitable direction for the next treatment after the first-line therapy fails is still challenging in Việt Nam because the country do not have standard treatment drugs that are approved and recommended by international treatment guidelines. In addition, there are differences in the patient's physical condition, expectations and feelings compared to with first-line treatment.

“TDM-1 is the first Antibody – drug conjugate (ADC) with a unique mechanism that helps to improve the treatment effect and significantly reduce the side effects on breast cancer patients," said Prof. Sung Bae Kim, Director of Breast Cancer Center, Asian Medical Center, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan. "Clinical studies have shown that this conjugate is highly effective and continues to improve the patient’s survivability and quality of life with acceptable safety. In addition, it has proved to be effective in patients with brain metastasis.”

Dr. Hoàng Thị Mai Hiền from HCM City Oncology Hospital said that patients with metastatic breast cancer often must go through many steps of treatment. In Việt Nam, there is a full range of anti-HER2 drugs for the first-line treatment of HER2+ metastatic breast cancer.

“TDM-1 is an option for the second-line treatment. TDM-1 significantly extends the life of patients with cancer progression-free. The fact that TDM-1 is officially approved and recommended for the later steps of treatment will help Vietnamese oncologists have more options to save the patients with HER2+ metastatic breast cancer,” said Hiền.

“TDM-1 has been approved in the world as well as in Việt Nam for the treatment of breast cancer with HER2 overexpression in metastatic stage two and above.”

At the event, leading experts also agreed that doctors should determine from the very beginning the optimal treatment strategy for HER2+ metastatic breast cancer, which is first-line treatment with dual anti-HER2+ medicine therapy and second-line treatment with TDM-1, so that patients can get the highest survival rate possible. — VNS