Targeting HER2 in Patients With Early-Stage Disease

Sunil Verma, MD, MSEd, FRCPC, associate professor, University of Toronto, chair, Breast Medical Oncology, Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, discusses targeting HER2 in patients with early-stage breast cancer.

Clinical Pearls

Sunil Verma, MD, MSEd, FRCPC, associate professor, University of Toronto, chair, Breast Medical Oncology, Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, discusses targeting HER2 in patients with early-stage breast cancer.

  • Data have shown that trastuzumab for 1 year leads to a reduction in breast cancer recurrence by about 40% and that survival improves, in relative terms, by about 40%.
  • 1 year of trastuzumab (versus 6 months) proved to be a better option in a trial, though the primary endpoint of non-inferiority was not met.
  • The question of duration of treatment with trastuzumab still needs to be definitively answered, but 1 year is the standard of care now.
  • With respect to a non-anthracycline-based approach, the combination of weekly paclitaxel and trastuzumab has shown to be well tolerated and effective.