BC Cancer Agency Adds PERJETA®-HERCEPTIN® Combo Pack for Treatment of
HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer to the Provincial Formulary
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 2, 2013 /CNW/ - People with HER2-positive metastatic
breast cancer in British Columbia will now be able to access a new treatment
option through the BC Cancer Agency. The BC Cancer Systemic Therapy Program
has approved the addition of PERJETA to the BCCA Drug Benefit Listing. The
regimen of pertuzumab (PERJETA) and trastuzumab (HERCEPTIN) in combination
with docetaxel is given every three weeks for the first‐line treatment of
metastatic HER2‐positive breast cancer continuing until disease progression
or toxicity after docetaxel completion.(1)
"We're pleased the BC Cancer Agency has added the PERJETA-HERCEPTIN Combo Pack
to the provincial formulary, giving patients with HER2-positive metastatic
breast cancer in BC access to a new treatment option in the fight against the
disease," said Mr. Ronnie Miller, president and CEO, Roche Canada. "For more
than a decade, Roche has been committed to improving breast cancer treatment
through innovative research and development and we are very proud to be
expanding our offering and to continue to provide more treatment options."
In Canada, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.(2)
It accounts for 26 per cent of all cancer cases, making it the second leading
cause of death in women.(1 )On average, 3,100 women in BC are diagnosed with
breast cancer every year.(3)
Metastatic (also known as advanced, secondary or stage IV) breast cancer, the
spread of cancer cells from the original site where the cancer first formed to
other parts of the body, is associated with increased severity and is largely
incurable.(4,5 )The median survival for a woman with this form of breast
cancer is two years.(4)
Women with HER2-positive breast cancer test positive for a protein called
human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2).(6) This protein is found in
high quantities on the outside of HER2-positive breast cancer cells.
HER2-positive breast cancer represents approximately 10 to 20 per cent of
human cancers, and without treatment, it is associated with aggressive tumour
growth and poor clinical outcomes. (5,7,8) Approximately 5,000 women in Canada
are living with this disease.(9)
British Columbia was the first province to fund the PERJETA-HERCEPTIN Combo
PERJETA (pertuzumab), in combination with the current standard of care,
HERCEPTIN® (trastuzumab) and docetaxel chemotherapy, is approved by Health
Canada for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast
cancer who have not received prior anti-HER2 therapy or chemotherapy for
The Health Canada approval of PERJETA is largely based on the phase III
CLEOPATRA trial. In the trial, people who received a combination of PERJETA,
HERCEPTIN and docetaxel chemotherapy, lived a median 6.1 months longer without
their cancer getting worse (progression-free survival) compared with the
standard of care, HERCEPTIN plus docetaxel chemotherapy, alone (median PFS
18.5 versus 12.4 months ; HR=0.62; p<0.0001).(9,11 )Further, the combination
of PERJETA, HERCEPTIN and docetaxel chemotherapy significantly extended the
lives of people with previously untreated HER2-positive metastatic breast
cancer (overall survival) compared to HERCEPTIN, docetaxel chemotherapy and
placebo. The risk of death was reduced by 34 per cent for people on the
PERJETA arm of the study, compared to those who received HERCEPTIN and
docetaxel chemotherapy alone (HR=0.66; p=0.0008).(12) At the time of the
data analysis, median overall survival had not yet been reached because more
than half of the patients receiving the PERJETA combination were still
alive.(11) The combination of PERJETA, HERCEPTIN and chemotherapy is thought
to provide a more comprehensive blockade of HER signaling pathways.
Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Roche is a leader in research-focused
healthcare with combined strengths in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. Roche
is the world's largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in
oncology, infectious diseases, inflammation, metabolism and neuroscience.
Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer
diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Roche's personalized
healthcare strategy aims at providing medicines and diagnostic tools that
enable tangible improvements in the health, quality of life and survival of
patients. In 2012 Roche had over 82,000 employees worldwide and invested over
8 billion Swiss francs in R&D. The Group posted sales of 45.5 billion Swiss
francs. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche
Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For
more information, please visit www.roche.com.
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(1) BC Cancer Agency.
November 13, 2013)
(2) Canadian Cancer Society.
n=on (Accessed October 29, 2013)
(3) Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.
tCancerinCanada.aspx (Accessed November 4, 2013)
(4) Canadian Breast Cancer Network.
March 19, 2013)
(5) BC Cancer Agency.
staticBreastCancer.hm (Accessed March 19, 2013)
(6) Chia et al. Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 Overexpression As a
Prognostic Factor in a Large Tissue Microarray Series of Node-Negative Breast
Cancers, Journal Of Clinical Oncology. 2008;26:5697-5700
(7) Ross et al. The HER-2 Receptor and Breast Cancer: Ten Years of Targeted
Anti-HER-2 Therapy and Personalized Medicine, The Oncologist. 2009;14:320-368
(8) Wolff et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American
Pathologists Guideline, Recommendations for Human Epidermal Growth Factor
Receptor 2 Testing in Breast Cancer, Arch Patho Lab Med 2007;101:18-43
(9) Tell Her 2 http://tellher2.ca/her2/ (Accessed October 29, 2013)
(10) PERJETA™ Product Monograph. April 12, 2013. Hoffmann-La Roche
(11) Baselga J, Cortes J, Sung-Bae K, et al. Pertuzumab plus trastuzumab plus
docetaxel for metastatic breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2012; 366:109-110.
(12) Swain S, et al. Confirmatory overall survival analysis of CLEOPATRA: A
randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase III study with pertuzumab,
trastuzumab, and docetaxel in patients with HER2-positive first-line
metastatic breast cancer. Poster presented at the 2012 CTRC-AARC San Antonio
Breast Cancer Symposium. Abstract # P5-18-26.
SOURCE Roche Canada
Jane McCoubrey Director, Corporate Relations Roche Canada 905-542-5535
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