Dr. Extermann on the Significance of Novel Treatment Options in HER2+ Breast Cancer


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Martine Extermann, MD, PhD, discusses the significance of novel treatment options in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Martine Extermann, MD, PhD, professor of oncology and medicine, University of South Florida, program leader, Senior Adult Oncology Program, Moffitt Cancer Center, discusses the significance of novel treatment options in HER2-positive breast cancer. 

The third-line treatment options fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan (Enhertu) and tucatinib (Tukysa) were welcome additions to the HER2-positive breast cancer armamentarium, Extermann says. Moreover, the FDA-approved agents have demonstrated significant activity in this patient population, including those with brain metastases in the case of tucatinib. 

Moreover, it was intriguing to see the results of the phase 3 OlympiA trial (NCT02032823), in which adjuvant olaparib (Lynparza) prolonged survival vs placebo in patients with high-risk, HER2-positive early breast cancer and germline BRCA1/2 pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants who completed local treatment and neoadjuvant/adjuvant chemotherapy. 

Moreover, it remains important to develop novel therapies directed toward older patients with HER2-positive breast cancer because 25% of breast cancer occurs in patients over the age of 75, Extermann continues. Developments have been made with a potential low-toxicity regimen, refined radiation approaches, and optimized treatment selection, Extermann concludes.

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