Stay tuned for our LIVE OncLive News Network coverage straight from the #ASH18 conference floor! 

Dr. Burstein on the Treatment Landscape of HER2+ Breast Cancer

Harold J. Burstein, MD, PhD
Published: Tuesday, Oct 30, 2018



Harold J. Burstein, MD, PhD, senior physician, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the treatment landscape of HER2-positive breast cancer.

Early-stage HER2-positive breast cancers have a very good prognosis, explains Burstein. Physicians tend to use anti-HER2 drugs in combination with chemotherapy to prevent disease recurrence. Women who have higher-risk disease are generally managed with chemotherapy alongside trastuzumab (Herceptin) and pertuzumab (Perjeta). That was informed by the results of the APHINITY trial, in which patients were randomized to trastuzumab and pertuzumab or trastuzumab alone. The trial showed that there is a significant benefit to the addition of pertuzumab for higher-risk cancers.

For stage I HER2-positive breast cancer, paclitaxel and trastuzumab can be used. A 400-patient prospective study led by Sara Tolaney, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, examined that regimen and demonstrated a very low risk of recurrence of less than 4% in women who received the combination. For higher-stage cancers, physicians will add more chemotherapy and anti-HER2 drugs, states Burstein.


Harold J. Burstein, MD, PhD, senior physician, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses the treatment landscape of HER2-positive breast cancer.

Early-stage HER2-positive breast cancers have a very good prognosis, explains Burstein. Physicians tend to use anti-HER2 drugs in combination with chemotherapy to prevent disease recurrence. Women who have higher-risk disease are generally managed with chemotherapy alongside trastuzumab (Herceptin) and pertuzumab (Perjeta). That was informed by the results of the APHINITY trial, in which patients were randomized to trastuzumab and pertuzumab or trastuzumab alone. The trial showed that there is a significant benefit to the addition of pertuzumab for higher-risk cancers.

For stage I HER2-positive breast cancer, paclitaxel and trastuzumab can be used. A 400-patient prospective study led by Sara Tolaney, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, examined that regimen and demonstrated a very low risk of recurrence of less than 4% in women who received the combination. For higher-stage cancers, physicians will add more chemotherapy and anti-HER2 drugs, states Burstein.



View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: Oncology Best Practice™ Decision Points in Advanced NSCLC: Assessing Treatment Options Beyond Disease ProgressionNov 30, 20181.0
Community Practice Connections™: Precision Medicine for Community Oncologists: Assessing the Role of Tumor-Testing Technologies in Cancer CareNov 30, 20181.0
Publication Bottom Border
Border Publication
x