Ron Bose, MD, PhD, from the Siteman Cancer Center, discusses the prevalence of HER2 gene mutations in patients diagnosed with breast cancer.
Ron Bose, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Division of Oncology at Washington University School of Medicine and the Siteman Cancer Center, discusses the prevalence of HER2 gene mutations in patients diagnosed with breast cancer.
Overall, Bose explains, HER2 mutations may be present in 1.5% to 2% of patients with breast cancer. Given the number of newly diagnosed patients each year, this translates to approximately 4000 patients annually with a HER2 mutation in the United States. More importantly, Bose explains, these patients could be treated with already existing therapies, such as neratinib, an oral dual HER1/HER2 inhibitor.
To put these findings into perspective, Bose notes, approximately 4000 patients are diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia each year. These patients are treated very effectively, using targeted therapies. Moreover, the prevalence of HER2 mutations in breast cancer is similar to the number of ALK translocations in non-small cell lung cancer. In this situation, a specific gene alteration is used to select the most appropriate therapy, which has translated into clinically meaningful benefits for patients with lung cancer.