Reviewing Key Takeaways for the Treatment of HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

November 17, 2020
Hope Rugo, MD
Hope Rugo, MD

Hope Rugo, MD, discusses her key takeaways in the field of HER2-positive breast cancer.

Hope Rugo, MD, professor, Department of Medicine (Hematology/Oncology); and Director, Breast Oncology and Clinical Trials Education at the University of California San Francisco, discusses her key takeaways in the field of HER2-positive breast cancer.

The most important takeaway at this time, Rugo says, is that physicians can personalize treatment for patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer. The disease-free survival observed in these patients has been excellent, even in those with multiple positive lymph nodes, and there is only a small number of patients have very resistant disease.

Personalization in the neoadjuvant setting to either escalate or de-escalate therapy based on treatment response is an important area of research in this space, as well as the ongoing studies aiming to improve outcomes for that small number of patients with truly resistant disease, according to Rugo. This represents a subset of patient with dismal outcomes, as well as those with upfront resistance or brain metastases.

The current treatment paradigm shows a number of new directions and therapies for the potential treatment of these patients. Antibody-drug conjugates and tyrosine kinase inhibitors are helping to improve outcomes for these patients, as well as those with de novo metastatic breast cancer, Rugo concludes.