The study entitled “A phase II neoadjuvant sequential regimen of docetaxel followed by high-dose epirubicin in combination with cyclophosphamide administered concurrently with trastuzumab. The DECT trial” has recently appeared in the Journal of Cell Physiology, an international, per-reviewed journal focused on cancer-related issues. The authors belong to a multidisciplinary Italian-American team with a long and productive history of collaboration with Prof. Antonio Giordano, Director of the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research of Philadelphia, Temple University Pennsylvania, USA and the Department of Medicine Surgery and Neuroscience at University of Siena.
“The use of trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting the HER2 receptor, has dramatically improved the prognosis of the subgroup of breast cancer patients whose tumors overexpress this specific receptor. One of the greatest challenges in these patients has been combining trastuzumab with extremely effective drugs such as anthracyclines at the cost of an acceptable toxicity. Initial evidence seemed to discourage this approach due to the high-rate of cardiotoxicity, i.e., 27%, reported in the pivotal phase III trial of metastatic breast cancer from Slamon and colleagues. Subsequent studies have partly downsized these results. Yet, several doubts have remained concerning the combined use of these drugs. The DECT trial was design to further address this key question. We also used the data from this randomized trial to interpret treatment efficacy in light of hormonal and metabolic determinants, including the expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors and body mass index,” says Prof. Antonio Giordano.