Dr. Chien on Treatment Duration in HER2+ Breast Cancer

A. Jo Chien, MD
Published: Thursday, Oct 04, 2018



A. Jo Chien, MD, associate clinical professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses treatment duration in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Optimal treatment duration for patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer is a big area of discussion, says Chien. In the field, there are challenges in identifying which patients can get away with less treatment and those who remain at high-risk despite use of trastuzumab (Herceptin), adds Chien.

Despite trastuzumab, approximately 1/4 of patients will relapse and need subsequent therapy. There are a number of new agents that have entered the field, such as pertuzumab (Perjeta) and neratinib (Nerlyx) that can be used in the early-stage setting.

On the other hand, there are also patients who are being overtreated, notes Chien. Historical studies were done in patients with high-risk disease, including positive lymph nodes and larger tumors. Those with node-negative disease and smaller tumors may not need as intensive treatment, states Chien.


A. Jo Chien, MD, associate clinical professor, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses treatment duration in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Optimal treatment duration for patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer is a big area of discussion, says Chien. In the field, there are challenges in identifying which patients can get away with less treatment and those who remain at high-risk despite use of trastuzumab (Herceptin), adds Chien.

Despite trastuzumab, approximately 1/4 of patients will relapse and need subsequent therapy. There are a number of new agents that have entered the field, such as pertuzumab (Perjeta) and neratinib (Nerlyx) that can be used in the early-stage setting.

On the other hand, there are also patients who are being overtreated, notes Chien. Historical studies were done in patients with high-risk disease, including positive lymph nodes and larger tumors. Those with node-negative disease and smaller tumors may not need as intensive treatment, states Chien.



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