Updates in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Debu Tripathy, MD, co-leader, Women's Cancer Program, University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses recent updates in the field of HER2+ breast cancer.

Debu Tripathy, MD, co-leader, Women's Cancer Program, University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses recent updates in the field of HER2+ breast cancer.

Clinical Pearls:

  • There have been advances in HER2+ breast cancer within the past few years
  • HER2+ breast caner used to be one of the worst breast cancers to have, but today it is considered to be a “favorable” type of cancer to have
  • The risk of recurrence with early-stage HER2+ breast cancer is low, but advanced HER2+ breast cancer cannot be cured because patients ultimately become resistant to therapy
  • The HER2 signaling pathway has variations in it from cancer cell to cancer cell that can make the signaling pathway impeded
  • Pertuzumab, when combination with trastuzumab, binds to a different part of the HER2 receptor
  • This combination, along with chemotherapy, can reduce the amount of recurrences over time
  • Although progression-free survival is improved with this combination, patients ultimately become resistant