Dr. O'Sullivan on Individualized HER2-Targeted Therapy in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Ciara O'Sullivan, MB, BCh
Published: Friday, Mar 08, 2019



Ciara O'Sullivan, MB, BCh, senior associate consultant, assistant professor of oncology, Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, discusses how HER2-targeted treatment can be more individualized in the treatment of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

HER2-positive breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, and different patients will benefit from different treatment approaches, says O’Sullivan. The identification of accurate and reproducible biomarkers of response and resistance will be key in tailoring treatment more effectively going forward. As it stands, physicians have no reliable biomarkers upon which to base treatment, she adds.

However, efforts are ongoing. Potential strategies include looking at the molecular intrinsic subtypes of HER2-positive breast cancer as well as immune infiltrates. Treatment de-escalation is another feasible personalized approach that the majority of patients can benefit from. Although physicians have access to newer HER2-targeted treatment regimens, the majority of patients will only experience a slight benefit in the adjuvant setting, concludes O’Sullivan.
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Ciara O'Sullivan, MB, BCh, senior associate consultant, assistant professor of oncology, Division of Medical Oncology, Department of Oncology, Mayo Clinic, discusses how HER2-targeted treatment can be more individualized in the treatment of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer.

HER2-positive breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease, and different patients will benefit from different treatment approaches, says O’Sullivan. The identification of accurate and reproducible biomarkers of response and resistance will be key in tailoring treatment more effectively going forward. As it stands, physicians have no reliable biomarkers upon which to base treatment, she adds.

However, efforts are ongoing. Potential strategies include looking at the molecular intrinsic subtypes of HER2-positive breast cancer as well as immune infiltrates. Treatment de-escalation is another feasible personalized approach that the majority of patients can benefit from. Although physicians have access to newer HER2-targeted treatment regimens, the majority of patients will only experience a slight benefit in the adjuvant setting, concludes O’Sullivan.



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