The success, and limitations,
of trastuzumab for HER2-positive breast cancer have
inspired the creation of a series
of novel drugs. Investigators
in the Women's Cancers
Program (WCP) are leading or
offering clinical trials of five
classes of these new therapies.
Finally, studies are planned with pertuzimab, a "monoclonal"
antibody (an antibody duplicated millions of times
over) that prevents the HER2 receptor from joining to its
sister receptors HER1 and HER3. Without such a connection,
HER2 cannot activate cell growth.
"In cases of advanced HER2-positive breast cancer,
these potential therapies may provide great hope for
women whose cancer is resistant to trastuzumab,"
says Eric Winer, MD, director of the Breast Oncology
Center within the WCP. "For women with early breast
tumors, they may offer an increased number of options if
the disease progresses."
2009 Turning Point
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