Oncology Central

New directions in the neoadjuvant treatment of HER2+ breast cancer

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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.

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