Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD, discusses the importance of routine HER2 testing in gastric/gastroesophageal cancer.
Yelena Y. Janjigian, MD, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the importance of routine HER2 testing in gastric/gastroesophageal (GEJ) cancer.
Currently, routine HER2 testing is offered at most academic centers because first-line trastuzumab (Herceptin) is a standard of care for patients with HER2-positive metastatic gastric/GEJ cancer, Janjigian explains. However, in some areas of the world and in the community setting, HER2 testing is less widely available in this space.
Notably, about 20% to 30% of patients with HER2-positive gastric/GEJ cancer will lose HER2 expression after they progress on first-line trastuzumab, Janjigian says. As such, routine HER2 testing is needed to inform the optimal second- and third-line therapy for patients. This becomes more relevant as more HER2-directed agents are introduced to the space, concludes Janjigian.