Dr. McCann on Ongoing Research in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Kelly McCann, MD, PhD
Published: Tuesday, Jun 26, 2018



Kelly McCann, MD, PhD, a medical oncologist in the Breast Cancer Research Group at the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses ongoing research in the field of HER2-positive breast cancer.

In addition to a lot of the escalation therapies such as pertuzumab (Perjeta) plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) in the adjuvant setting, and adding neratinib (Nerlynx) to long-term chemotherapy plus 1 year of trastuzumab, physicians are also looking at de-escalation therapies for tumors that are much smaller. These include trials with just a taxane plus trastuzumab with or without pertuzumab. Those have been promising, but long-term overall survival and disease-free survival has not been released yet. Therefore, physicians cannot make conclusions about that, says McCann.

For very small tumors—less than 1 cm—some physicians are starting to use a taxane plus trastuzumab for node-negative patients, says McCann. However, physicians know that these tumors have a chance to recur, so not doing any therapy at all is ill advised. Physicians also know that trastuzumab alone is not as potent and efficacious as trastuzumab plus chemotherapy.


Kelly McCann, MD, PhD, a medical oncologist in the Breast Cancer Research Group at the University of California, Los Angeles, discusses ongoing research in the field of HER2-positive breast cancer.

In addition to a lot of the escalation therapies such as pertuzumab (Perjeta) plus trastuzumab (Herceptin) in the adjuvant setting, and adding neratinib (Nerlynx) to long-term chemotherapy plus 1 year of trastuzumab, physicians are also looking at de-escalation therapies for tumors that are much smaller. These include trials with just a taxane plus trastuzumab with or without pertuzumab. Those have been promising, but long-term overall survival and disease-free survival has not been released yet. Therefore, physicians cannot make conclusions about that, says McCann.

For very small tumors—less than 1 cm—some physicians are starting to use a taxane plus trastuzumab for node-negative patients, says McCann. However, physicians know that these tumors have a chance to recur, so not doing any therapy at all is ill advised. Physicians also know that trastuzumab alone is not as potent and efficacious as trastuzumab plus chemotherapy.

View Conference Coverage
Online CME Activities
TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Cancer Summaries and Commentaries™: Update from Chicago: Advances in the Treatment of Breast CancerJul 31, 20181.0
Community Practice Connections™: Medical Crossfire®: Translating Lessons Learned with PARP Inhibition to the Treatment of Breast Cancer—Expert Exchanges on Novel Strategies to Personalize CareAug 29, 20181.5
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