Dr. Hurvitz on Novel Emerging Agents in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Sara A. Hurvitz, MD
Published: Saturday, Mar 10, 2018



Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses novel agents that are emerging in the HER2-positive breast cancer space. Hurvitz shared this insight in an interview with OncLive during the 35th Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference.

One of the agents that Hurvitz is looking forward to seeing more data of is tucatinib, previously known as ONT-380. This is a HER2 selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor with evidence that it crosses the blood-brain barrier and, therefore, has efficacy against patients with CNS metastases. Tucatinib has been granted orphan drug status based on phase I activity in CNS tumors that are HER2-positive. Tucatinib is being explored in the HER2CLIMB trial, a large phase II study of tucatinib plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) and capecitabine versus trastuzumab and capecitabine alone. This could potentially be an active drug for patients with or without progressive CNS metastases that are HER2-positive.

A second novel agent is an investigational antibody-drug conjugate DS-8201. This is showing promising activity in early-phase clinical trials, where it demonstrated objective response rates of more than 60% in patients with heavily pretreated metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. DS-8201 received an FDA breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive, locally advanced, or metastatic breast cancer who have been treated with trastuzumab and pertuzumab (Perjeta) and have disease progression after ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) in August 2017.

<<< View more from the 2018 Miami Breast Cancer Conference


Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, director of the Breast Oncology Program at the University of California, Los Angeles, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses novel agents that are emerging in the HER2-positive breast cancer space. Hurvitz shared this insight in an interview with OncLive during the 35th Annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference.

One of the agents that Hurvitz is looking forward to seeing more data of is tucatinib, previously known as ONT-380. This is a HER2 selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor with evidence that it crosses the blood-brain barrier and, therefore, has efficacy against patients with CNS metastases. Tucatinib has been granted orphan drug status based on phase I activity in CNS tumors that are HER2-positive. Tucatinib is being explored in the HER2CLIMB trial, a large phase II study of tucatinib plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) and capecitabine versus trastuzumab and capecitabine alone. This could potentially be an active drug for patients with or without progressive CNS metastases that are HER2-positive.

A second novel agent is an investigational antibody-drug conjugate DS-8201. This is showing promising activity in early-phase clinical trials, where it demonstrated objective response rates of more than 60% in patients with heavily pretreated metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. DS-8201 received an FDA breakthrough therapy designation for the treatment of patients with HER2-positive, locally advanced, or metastatic breast cancer who have been treated with trastuzumab and pertuzumab (Perjeta) and have disease progression after ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla) in August 2017.

<<< View more from the 2018 Miami Breast Cancer Conference

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