Targeting HER2 in Patients With Early-Stage Disease

May 28, 2014
Sunil Verma, MD, MSEd, FRCPC

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.