Moving the Needle in HER2+ Breast Cancer Research


Hatem Soliman, MD, discusses future directions for the HER2-positive breast cancer treatment landscape.

Hatem Soliman, MD, medical oncologist in The Center for Women’s Oncology and assistant member of the Experimental Therapeutics Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses future directions he anticipates the HER2-positive breast cancer treatment landscape may be moving towards.


0:10 | The landscape of drug development right now has accelerated quite dramatically because of these enabling technologies, like antibody drug conjugates, that are a way that you can in essence, select a given target on a cell to have it preferentially attacked by the therapy while trying to avoid the delivery of the payload to the normal tissue. By combining different antibodies that go after different targets with different payloads, there's a possibility that we can develop new drugs in a way that can target metastatic cell populations within the patient based on the levels or expressions of some of these targets, in addition to exposing them to novel drug agents that may be too difficult to give on their own. But when attached to an antibody, it may allow them to be used in a safe manner to provide a significant benefit.

1:09 | I think the field is moving towards looking at how we can best utilize this platform or technology to provide a larger number of treatment options for patients over time, and keep their disease under control, or even potentially in the future, use them in such a way that we could even conceivably eradicate metastatic disease, which would be the dream of all of us. That's a major direction.

1:39 | The other direction is looking at how we can better use targeted agents or molecular therapies in combination, even with some of these antibody drug conjugates. This is being done, and they're looking at combining tyrosine kinase inhibitors that target HER2 alongside with antibody drug conjugates, as well, to see if you can have a potent 1/2 combination that can better eradicate the cells. Those types of approaches are also going to be exciting for us to be able to see if we can deliver that maximal combinatorial effect safely, and eradicate disease more effectively over time, and in particularly, it may help patients that are at risk of developing brain metastases, which we know is a significant problem in the HER2 population.

2:27 | Some of these smaller drugs can get into the brain tissue with a higher level of drug penetration, that may eradicate some of those cells before they have the ability to start trouble in the brain. I think those are some of the things that we're looking at going forward in order to help our patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

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