Ingrid Mayer
Faculty Member
Last active: 3/23/2014

Treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer following initial progression.

Mayer IA
Clin Breast Cancer. 2009 9 Suppl 2: S50-7

PMID: 19596643 · PMCID: PMC3457066 · DOI:10.3816/CBC.2009.s.005

Significant advances in molecular-targeted therapies have provided more effective and less aggressive forms of therapy for patients with HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancers. Despite the initial encouraging results of many therapeutic randomized trials that have been undertaken in this setting, de novo and acquired resistance to trastuzumab, the first anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody to demonstrate significant activity in this setting, can occur. Because recent studies strongly support a role for trastuzumab in not only the management of metastatic disease but also the adjuvant setting for HER2-overexpressing breast cancers, the clinical problem of trastuzumab resistance is becoming increasingly important. Specific recommendations for the optimal treatment of HER2-overexpressing metastatic disease are challenging because considerable advances in the field have been made. This article will review some of the main points to be considered for decision-making in anti-HER2 treatment in the metastatic setting: (1) the benefit of continued trastuzumab after progression on a first-line trastuzumab-containing regimen, (2) novel agents that have been recently added to the plethora of drugs available to treat HER2-overexpressing breast cancers, and (3) molecular mechanisms that contribute to trastuzumab resistance. These issues are imperative in identifying novel therapeutic targets with the goal of increasing the magnitude and duration of response to trastuzumab-based treatment.

MeSH Terms (11)

Antibodies, Monoclonal Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized Antineoplastic Agents Breast Neoplasms Disease Progression Drug Resistance, Neoplasm Female Humans Neoplasm Metastasis Receptor, ErbB-2 Trastuzumab

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