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In Chicago, from June 1 to 5, the latest annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) took place, at which there were interesting contributions. Among the most interesting was the publication of the results of the EMILIA study with the drug T-DM1, a perfect combination of a chemotherapy drug, DM1, and trastuzumab, a monoclonal antibody designed to target HER2. T-DM1 was used in patients with HER2 Positive metastatic breast cancer who had progressed on a previous trastuzumab plan and was compared with capecitabine and lapatinib, presenting benefits in the Progression Free Survival (PFS) rate at three months, and an increase in overall survival (OS). The mechanism of action of this drug is quite novel in that it incorporates to the molecule itself a specific target against the HER2 cells (trastuzumab) and a cytotoxic drug (emtansine with a stabilizing linker). Once the HER2 tumor cell is reached, the drug is absorbed into the cell and the chemotherapy agent is released. All the above increases the effect of antineoplastic agents in the targeted cells, causing less toxicity in other cells.

As a result of these findings, T-DM1 will be incorporated into the arsenal of treatments used to fight HER2. Nevertheless, the usual delay is expected until the drug is made available and until then, the drug will only be administered in clinical trials. MD Anderson Cancer Center Madrid is one of the centers in Spain (there are 11 in total*) to have access to T-DM1 for the clinical trial TH3RESA.

The TH3RESA trial compares T-DM1 with the antiHER2 therapy chosen by the doctor. Candidates for the trial must have HER2 metastatic breast cancer (+) and have progressed on previous treatment including trastuzumab and lapatinib.

If you are interested in receiving further information on the drug or on the clinical trial, do not hestitate to contact us at

*Other centers available:

  • Hospital de Basurto
  • Hospital Clinic I Provincial Barcelona
  • Centro Oncológico De Galicia José Antonio Quiroga y Piñeyro
  • Hospital General Universitario Morales Meseguer
  • Hospital Nuestra Señora de Valme
  • Hospital Clinico San Carlos
  • Hospital Universitario la Fe
  • Hospital Duran I Reynals
  • Hospital Ramón y Cajal
  • Hospital Regional Universitario Carlos Haya

Medical Oncology Department:

BREAST CANCER UNIT:                            

  • Dr. Antonio González
  • Dr. Raúl Márquez
  • Dra. Raquel Bratos
  • Dr. Miguel Quintela