Around 1 in 5 people diagnosed with cancer in the UK take part in a clinical trial.
A trial of AUY922 with Herceptin for advanced breast cancer
This trial was for people with breast cancer that had grown outside the breast (locally advanced) or spread to other parts of the body (metastatic).
It was for people whose cancer:
- got worse despite treatment with chemotherapy and Herceptin
- had receptors for a protein called HER2 (
More about this trial
This trial started in 2011 and these results were published in 2016.
Herceptin (also known as trastuzumab) is a common treatment for HER2 positive breast cancer. It works by attaching to the HER2 receptors on the surface of cancer cells. It then stops the cancer from growing.
AUY922 is a new drug that blocks certain proteins that cancer cells need to grow. Doctors think that if they stop these proteins from working, the cancer stops growing.
Researchers wanted to:
- find out the highest dose of AUY922 that you can safely have with Herceptin
- see whether AUY922 and Herceptin helps people with HER2 positive advanced breast cancer
Summary of results
The trial team concluded that AUY922 and Herceptin might help people with HER2 positive advanced breast cancer. This was an early phase trial but the results look promising.
This was a phase 1/2 trial. 45 people with HER2 positive advanced breast cancer took part. Everyone had AUY922 and Herceptin as a drip into a vein every week. This continued for as long as it was helping them and the side effects weren’t too bad.
This trial was in 2 parts. In part 1, doctors wanted to find out the highest dose of AUY922 that you can safely have with Herceptin. 11 people joined this part of the trial.
Everyone who joined the 2nd part of this trial had the highest safe dose of AUY922 found during part one. 34 people joined this part.
During the 1st part of this trial, doctors were able to find the highest dose of AUY922 that you can safely have with Herceptin. They then gave that dose to everyone who joined the 2nd part.
The trial team looked at how well AUY922 worked. To do this, they looked at the results of 40 people who joined the 2nd part. They found that:
- in 1 person out of the 40, the cancer went away completely (completely response)
- in 8 people, the cancer shrunk by at least a third (partial response)
- in 20 people, the cancer stayed the same (stable disease)
- in 11 people, the cancer continued to grow (progressive disease)
The team also looked at the average length of time people had treatment for. They found that it was around 16 weeks (4 months).
Doctors looked at the most common side effects that people had. The side effects included:
The trial team concluded that the side effects of AUY922 and Herceptin are acceptable. They think it can help people with HER2 positive advanced breast cancer. But doctors need to do more research to find out for sure.
We have based this summary on information from the research team. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (
How to join a clinical trial
Dr Anthony Kong
Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC)