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Ann Oncol. 2001;12 Suppl 1:S81-7.

Targeting HER2 in other tumor types.

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Institut Curie, Paris, France.


The human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) is overexpressed/amplified in a range of tumor types including breast, ovarian, bladder, salivary gland, endometrial, pancreatic and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). HER2 is implicated in disease initiation and progression, associated with poor prognosis, and may also predict the response to chemotherapy and hormonal therapy. Anti-HER2 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) have been designed to specifically antagonize the function of the HER2 receptor in HER2-positive tumors. Clinical phase II and III trials have demonstrated the efficacy of the humanized anti-HER2 MAb, trastuzumab (Herceptin), both as a single agent and in combination with chemotherapy in HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer patients. However, the prevalence of HER2 overexpression/amplification in various tumor types raises the possibility of using anti-HER2 MAbs to antagonize the abnormal function of overexpressed HER2 receptors in HER2-positive tumors other than breast. Preliminary in vitro studies indicate that anti-HER2 MAbs suppress the proliferation of ovarian, gastric and NSCLC cell lines that overexpress the HER2 receptor. These results indicate that anti-HER2 MAbs may have important therapeutic significance in patients presenting with these or other human carcinomas. Clinical trials are either planned or underway to assess the therapeutic role of trastuzumab in NSCLC, bladder and ovarian cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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