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National Cancer Survivor Month

June is National Cancer Survivor Month, a time dedicated to honoring and celebrating those who have faced cancer and emerged as survivors. Survivorship encompasses much more than life after treatment; it involves the physical, mental, emotional, social, and financial impacts that surviving cancer can have on an individual. This month highlights the strength, resilience, and determination demonstrated by cancer survivors every day.

MEDSIR June National Cancer Survivor

Importance of Clinical Trials in Cancer Research: longer, better lives

Cancer survivor month aims to raise awareness about the challenges survivors face throughout their lives, but it also brings to light the unmet need for continued research and development of new therapeutic strategies to minimize side effects and improve patient outcomes. In these lines, clinical trials are the backbone of progress in oncology for researchers to explore innovative approaches such as targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and personalized medicine.

In addition, quality of life has increasingly been recognized as a crucial endpoint in clinical trials, providing insights into how new therapies affect patients' everyday lives. Historically, the primary focus of clinical trials relied on extending life expectancy. However, with more patients living longer, the emphasis has shifted towards ensuring that these additional years are lived with a good quality of life. This holistic approach ensures that the benefits of new treatments are measured not only in terms of survival but also in terms of enhancing the well-being of cancer survivors, ensuring life with dignity, comfort, and fulfillment.

What initiatives is MEDSIR undertaking in cancer survivorship?

Beyond raising awareness about cancer survivorship by actively sharing the newest advances in clinical trials and their benefit to patients, MEDSIR is a company dedicated to pioneering novel clinical trials in oncology.

MEDSIR was established as an independent clinical research company specializing in oncology, with the goal of improving the quality of life for cancer patients. At MEDSIR, we dedicate ourselves to discovering the most effective treatments and turning brilliant research ideas into fully developed clinical trials, ultimately striving to increase cancer patients’ survival rates.

Recently, we broadcasted important results that may impact the lives of HER2+ early breast cancer patients. The PHERGain clinical trial, whose most recent results have been published in the prestigious journal The Lancet, aimed to assess the feasibility of treating this population of patients exclusively with anti-HER2 therapies, without including chemotherapy in their treatment regimen using an 18F-FDG-PET strategy. With this adaptative strategy, the PHERGain study offers a way to reduce the toxicity of chemotherapy while ensuring high treatment efficacy.

Early breast cancer accounts for a significant portion of diagnosed cases and about one in five breast cancers are identified as HER2-positive (HER2+). HER2, which stands for "Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2," is a key protein for regulating cell growth present on the surface of normal and cancer cells. In cancer, some tumors have excessively high HER2 levels which leads to abnormal cell growth and proliferation. Standard treatment for HER2+ early breast cancer includes chemotherapy combined with anti-HER2 therapies, such as trastuzumab and pertuzumab. The development of HER2-targeted therapies has greatly improved the outcome for early breast cancer patients. 

Briefly, the study included two groups of patients: group A, receiving usual treatment of chemotherapy combined with trastuzumab and pertuzumab, and group B, only receiving trastuzumab and pertuzumab.

After several treatment cycles and a surgical intervention to remove any remaining breast tumors, group B participants with no remaining cancer cells continued their chemotherapy-free treatment, while those with residual cancer cells were switched to a combination of chemotherapy and anti-HER2 therapy.

The PHERGain study showed that a subset of patients with HER2+ early breast cancer can safely omit chemotherapy. By using a personalized treatment strategy that adjusts based on patient response, it can improve the quality of life by reducing the toxicity associated with chemotherapy while maintaining high treatment efficacy. Learn more about PHERGain study.

These encouraging data offer new hope for patients and warrant further investigation to pursue de-escalation strategies that may allow the complete elimination of non-targeted cytotoxic chemotherapy. In this context, the future of therapeutic de-escalation appears to be possible with the design of novel molecules such as antibody-drug conjugates with unique biochemical structures that promote the transition from non-targeted chemotherapy towards targeted tumor therapy.

At MEDSIR we have developed over 59 clinical trials and conducted more than 48 translational studies. This success translates to treating more than 2,455 patients since 2012, involving 432 researchers and 232 hospitals in over 13 countries worldwide, and collaborating with more than 35 industry funders.

Cooperation among scientists, clinicians, and industry will remain essential for bringing groundbreaking discoveries into significant clinical applications, ultimately improving patients’ survival worldwide. 

Contact us to learn more about the streamlined strategy in clinical development at MEDSIR.



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