Sara A. Hurvitz, MD
Although filgrastim-sndz (Zarxio), a biosimilar for the G-CSF analog filgrastim (Neupogen), is the only biosimilar commonly used in oncology practice, several studies have confirmed the benefit of biosimilars for trastuzumab (Herceptin) that could potentially lead to their routine clinical use once the anti-HER2 agent comes off patent, explains Sara A. Hurvitz, MD.
, Hurvitz, director of the Breast Oncology Program, medical director of the Clinical Research Unit, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of California, Los Angeles, discussed the development of biosimilars and their potential use in the breast cancer field.
OncLive: How have biosimilars entered the breast cancer landscape?
Biosimilars are drugs that are similar to biologic agents that are already FDA approved, but they are a little bit different from generic drugs. Generic drugs are equivalent chemical structures. Biologic agents are very complicated, large, protein-based molecules developed in cell lines and cannot be exact replicas of one another. Biologic agents account for billions of dollars of spending in healthcare, and access to these agents is limited worldwide. Biosimilar agents have the advantage of being much less expensive and will hopefully allow better access to these drugs.
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