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Dr. Royce Reflects on Advances in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Melanie E. Royce, MD, PhD
Published: Monday, Jan 23, 2017



Melanie E. Royce, MD, PhD, co-director, Protocol Review and Monitoring System, member, Women’s Cancers Research Program, associate professor of Medicine, University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses some of the advancements in the field of HER2-positive breast cancer.

The most important thing is that the natural history of HER2-positive breast cancer has significantly improved, Royce explains. However, what also is very beneficial is being able to combine hormone receptor-positive–targeted agents and HER2-directed agents for these patients without the addition of chemotherapy. That, she says, is a very exciting step forward.

Researchers are trying to de-escalate therapy for patients, and it is possible in select patients to do this. The main question, however, is: in which patients can this approach be done? That is a major focus of ongoing research, she adds.


Melanie E. Royce, MD, PhD, co-director, Protocol Review and Monitoring System, member, Women’s Cancers Research Program, associate professor of Medicine, University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses some of the advancements in the field of HER2-positive breast cancer.

The most important thing is that the natural history of HER2-positive breast cancer has significantly improved, Royce explains. However, what also is very beneficial is being able to combine hormone receptor-positive–targeted agents and HER2-directed agents for these patients without the addition of chemotherapy. That, she says, is a very exciting step forward.

Researchers are trying to de-escalate therapy for patients, and it is possible in select patients to do this. The main question, however, is: in which patients can this approach be done? That is a major focus of ongoing research, she adds.

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