Debu Tripathy, MD, from the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the targeted therapies that are currently available for the treatment of patients with breast cancer.
Debu Tripathy, MD, co-leader, Women's Cancer Program, University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, discusses the targeted therapies that are currently available for the treatment of patients with breast cancer.
Currently, the HER2-targeted agent trastuzumab is the standard of care for patients with early-stage and metastatic, HER2-positive breast cancer. Newer drugs, Tripathy says, are not perfect but they certainly have a clinical impact. In the first-line setting, the addition of pertuzumab to trastuzumab has shown improvement to disease-free survival and overall survival.
T-DM1, an immunoconjugate targeted at HER2, was recently approved for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. This approval was based off an improvement in survival over lapatinib and capecitabine, which was the previous standard of care in the second-line setting for HER2-positive disease.
These advances are important because they extend survival with a minimal impact on toxicity and represent new standard of care, Tripathy notes. However, these agents do have limitations as patients are not cured and not all respond.