Tethered cancer drugs a one-two punch?

This week a new study is presented in Sweden suggesting that it may be possible to tether cancer drugs together to make them more effective. A team led by Sara Hurvitz of UCLA created T-DM1 which links Herceptin to a drug called DM-1.

Herceptin, a monoclonal antibody, binds to cells that make too much of a protein called HER-2.

DM-1 targets all cells, but is inactive when linked to Herpcetin. When Herceptin binds to HER-2, however, the DM-1 is released and can act on nearby cancer cells.

The docs are thinking that this might provide a more targeted one-two punch than Herceptin plus Taxotere (also called docetaxel, rather the standard so far.)


About leftbreast

I have had breast cancer. I was diagnosed at 47, and am now 49. I have finished "active treatment," two surgeries, chemo, radiation, monoclonal antibodies. These days, I only take a drug to suppress my uptake of estrogen, since my tumor was highly reactive to that hormone. I have been married to my husband Pete for 21 years. I have a stepdaughter, Maureen, 30, and a daughter, Erin, 10. I've been a freelance magazine journalist for 20-plus years, covering everything from Chinese foreign policy to Catholic nuns to endangered species. I have had a great life. I have lived in Asia and all over the United States. I have spent nights with tree-sitters in Oregon and with astronomers at the Mauna Kea observatory in Hawaii. I've been to a cocktail party on the poopdeck of a British destroyer docked in Shanghai. I've taken the bus to Tibet, and tramped through the cloud forests of Panama with biologists. A magazine sent me on a raft trip down the Colorado through the Grand Canyon; another sent me to cooking school for a week. I have spent time with celebrities, presidents and heroin dealers. I love my work. I have a loving, supportive family and more friends than I probably deserve. I have had the space and time to camp, ski, cycle, garden, cook and spoil my pets (an Australian shepherd, a German shepherd and a tabby cat). If it all ended tomorrow, I would have to say that it has been a really, really good ride. When I was in thick of treatment, I was simply fighting for more time. Now, I'm trying to connect the experience of cancer with the rest of my life, with the time that's been won. I hope the cancer never comes back, but if it does, I'll be ready. That's what this blog is about.
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2 Responses to Tethered cancer drugs a one-two punch?

  1. Heather, Really interesting. I love your pieces that are insightful but also others like this one that are informative.

    Please please please keep blogging, whether about your personal cancer journey, cancer in general, or other subjects as you see fit. I religiously read and follow your blog.


  2. sitforabit says:

    Fascinating! Do you know if they’ve tried this technique in the States? Any clinical trials going on now? Is DM-1 chemo, or is it more like Herceptin?

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