Overview of HER2-Targeted Therapies in Breast Cancer

Panelists: Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD, Duke; Adam M. Brufsky, MD, PhD, University of Pittsburgh;
Joyce A. O’Shaughnessy, MD, US Oncology; Mark D. Pegram, MD, Stanford; Hope S. Rugo, MD, UCSF;
Denise A. Yardley, MD, Sarah Cannon
Published Online: Wednesday, January 22, 2014
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Moderator, Adam M. Brufsky, MD, PhD, introduces a panel discussion focused on current and emerging therapies for the treatment of patients with breast cancer. The discussion includes expert perspectives from Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD, Joyce A. O'Shaughnessy, MD, Mark Pegram, MD, Hope S. Rugo, MD, and Denise A. Yardley, MD.

Pertuzumab in combination with trastuzumab and chemotherapy was approved as a neoadjuvant treatment for patients with breast cancer based on the demonstration of an improvement in pathological complete response (pCR) in the NeoSphere trial. In the phase II study, the pCR rate with pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and docetaxel was 45.8% compared with 29% for trastuzumab plus docetaxel, explains Brufsky.

The approval of pertuzumab has changed the way that HER2-positive breast cancer is treated, believes Yardley. In general, pertuzumab can be utilized in HER2 tumors with any degree of nodal involved, even for small T1 tumors, Yardley believes. The label for pertuzumab specifies that it should be used in patients with node-positive T2 breast cancer. However, O'Shaughnessy says, since the magnitude of benefit is so great, it may be appropriate to treat patients with HER2-positive T2 N0 or T1 N1 tumors.

In many situations, the medical oncologist may not see a patient until after surgery. As a result, it is important that all members of a treatment team understand the impact of neoadjuvant pertuzumab on the overall outcome, states Rugo. In addition to surgeons, pathologists should be made aware that HER2 status is important early in the process, even for small tumors, Blackwell adds.

In general, physicians at Stanford are utilizing the same eligibility criteria used for adjuvant HER2-targeted therapies in order to determine if treatment with neoadjuvant pertuzumab is appropriate, Pegram states. Moreover, for patients who do not achieve a pCR from the neoadjuvant combination, there is an ongoing clinical trial examining a switch from trastuzumab to adjuvant T-DM1 or continued trastuzumab.
View More From This Discussion
Episode 1 Overview of HER2-Targeted Therapies in Breast Cancer
Episode 2 Treating Low-Risk HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
Episode 3 Frontline Pertuzumab for Metastatic Breast Cancer
Episode 4 PIK3CA Mutations in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
Episode 5 T-DM1 in HER2-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer
Episode 6 Recommendations for Optimal HER2 Testing in Breast Cancer
Episode 7 Role of Lapatinib in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
Episode 8 Novel Drug Development in Breast Cancer
Episode 9 Phase III Clinical Trials in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer
Episode 10 Case Study: HER2-Positive Oligometastatic Breast Cancer
Episode 11 Upfront Treatment of HR-Positive MBC
Episode 12 Next Steps for Everolimus in Metastatic Breast Cancer
Episode 13 CDK4/6 Inhibitors in Metastatic Breast Cancer
Episode 14 Chemotherapeutics in Metastatic Breast Cancer
Episode 15 Preventing Skeletal-Related Events in Breast Cancer
Episode 16 Conclusion: Future Direction of Breast Cancer Treatment
Expert Panelists
Dr Adam Brufsky

Adam M. Brufsky, MD, PhD

Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh
Medical Director of the Women’s Cancer Center at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kimberly L. Blackwell, MD

Professor of Medicine
Assistant Professor in Radiation Oncology
Duke Cancer Institute
Durham, North Carolina

Joyce A. O’Shaughnessy, MD

Co-Director, Breast Cancer Research
Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center
Texas Oncology, PA/US Oncology,
Dallas, Texas

Mark D. Pegram, MD

Professor of Medicine (Oncology)
Stanford University Medical Center;
Susy Yuan-Huey Hung Professor;
Associate Director of Clinical Research and Director, Breast Cancer Program, Stanford Cancer Institute, Stanford, California

Hope S. Rugo, MD

Professor of Medicine and Director of the Breast Oncology, Clinical Trials, and Education Program, University of California San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, California

Denise A. Yardley, MD

Senior Investigator, Breast Cancer Research
Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Tennessee Oncology, Nashville, Tennessee
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