Original Publication Date: 1 July, 2015
Publication / Source: Breast Cancer Management
Authors: Evthokia A Hobbs & Sara A Hurvitz
Approximately 20% of breast cancer demonstrates amplification of the HER2 gene resulting in overexpression of the HER2 protein on the cell surface. Effective targeting with anti-HER2 monoclonal antibodies (trastuzumab, pertuzumab, trastuzumab-emtansine) and tyrosine kinase inhibitors (lapatinib) dramatically improves the natural history of this aggressive disease. Patients with HER2-overexpressing breast cancer (HER2+) achieve higher rates of pathologic complete response (pCR) to cytotoxic chemotherapy and HER2-targeted therapy in neoadjuvant trials compared with less aggressive subtypes.