New HERizons: HER2-Positive Breast Cancer and the Legacy of Herceptin


Twenty years ago, no targeted treatments existed for breast cancers with high levels of a protein called HER2 (HER2-positive, or HER2+). The significance of HER2 in breast cancer had only been recognized in 1987, when excessive levels of the protein were identified in about 20% of breast cancers. Oncologists realized that high levels of HER2 mark a type of cancer with a poor prognosis, as compared to the predominant type of breast cancer: estrogen receptor-positive, HER2 negative (HER2-).

The possibility of targeting HER2 to treat cancer was fulfilled in 1998, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Herceptin (generic name trastuzumab), for treatment of metastatic HER2+ breast cancer. Made by Genentech, Herceptin is a type of drug known as a humanized antibody, meaning that it mimics an immune system attack on tumor cells, specifically those with high levels of HER2. Now, 20 years later, it is easier to appreciate the significance of this drug, which literally changed the lives of many HER2+ breast cancer patients, and continues to do so today. Continue reading…


FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation to DS-8201 for HER-2-Positive Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“The FDA granted breakthrough therapy designation to DS-8201 for the treatment of HER-2-positive locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer that progressed after treatment with other HER-2-targeting agents.

“The agency based the designation on preliminary evidence from a phase 1 study designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of DS-8201 (Daiichi Sankyo), an investigational HER-2-targeting antibody-drug conjugate.”

Go to full article.

If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.


Novel HER2-Targeting Antibody-Drug Conjugate Shows Broad Antitumor Activity

Excerpt:

“A novel HER2-targeting antibody-drug conjugate showed promising antitumor activity across multiple tumor types, including HER2-postive breast cancer, according to phase I data presented at the 2016 ESMO Congress.

” ‘Antibody-drug conjugates represent promising drugs with a wider therapeutic window by effecting efficient and specific drug delivery to oncogene expressing tumor cells,’ explained lead author Kenji Tamura, MD, PhD, chairman, Department of Breast and Medical Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.”

Go to full article.

If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our ASK Cancer Commons service.