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Curr Oncol Rep. 2014;16(1):359. doi: 10.1007/s11912-013-0359-8.

New HER2-positive targeting agents in clinical practice.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Yawkey 1257, Boston, MA, 02215, USA,


Overexpression of human epidermal growth factor occurs in approximately 20-25 % of invasive breast cancers. This subtype of breast cancer has been associated with poor clinical outcomes. The development of trastuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to the extracellular domain of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), revolutionized outcomes of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer; however, many patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer eventually become resistant to it. Several newer anti-HER2 agents have been developed, including lapatinib, pertuzumab, and trastuzumab emtansine. These exciting advances in drug development for HER2-positive breast cancer have also led to many challenges, including how to optimally sequence and combine HER2-targeted agents.

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