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Dr. Hamilton on Emerging Therapies in HER2+ Breast Cancer

Erika P. Hamilton, MD, director, Breast and Gynecologic Research Program, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, discusses emerging therapies in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Erika P. Hamilton, MD, director, Breast and Gynecologic Research Program, Sarah Cannon Research Institute, discusses emerging therapies in HER2-positive breast cancer.

There are several classes of emerging therapies in HER2-positive breast cancer, including antibodies, bispecifics, antibody-drug conjugates (ADC), and novel TKIs. One of the more promising agents may be DS-8201, which is an ADC, says Hamilton. Data presented at the 2018 ASCO Annual Meeting showed a response rate >50% and a clinical benefit rate >90% with the agent.

The oral TKI, tucatinib is another agent that has drawn attention because it does not have many off-target effects, explains Hamilton. Tucatinib only blocks HER2—not HER1 or EGFR—which translates to high tolerability. Additionally, the agent penetrates the blood-brain barrier, giving women with brain metastases an effective therapy option. Exciting data from a couple of studies have shown that women with brain metastases who receive tucatinib have the same progression-free survival as those without metastases, says Hamilton.

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