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HER2+ Breast Cancer Treatment Arsenal Expands With ADCs

Ellie Leick
Published: Thursday, Feb 20, 2020

Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine and medical director of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Research Unit at the University of California, Los Angeles

Sara A. Hurvitz, MD

Therapeutic options for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer have expanded over the last decade, leading to improved outcomes across patient subgroups and transitioning the malignancy to a more chronic disease, experts say.

“HER2-positive breast cancer comprises about 15% to 20% of all metastatic breast cancers, but HER2-positive breast cancer isn't 1 disease. We're beginning to see that there are subtypes even within that subtype,” explained Sara A. Hurvitz, MD, an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine and medical director of the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Research Unit at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) have been garnering interest in HER2-positive disease for some time. Ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla), for example, is approved as an adjuvant treatment for patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer who have residual invasive disease following neoadjuvant trastuzumab (Herceptin) and chemotherapy. It is also indicated for patients with metastatic disease who previously received treatment with trastuzumab and a taxane.

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