open access

Vol 5, No 5 (2009)
Review paper
Published online: 2009-12-01
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Continuing trastuzumab beyond progression in breast cancer patients - pros and cons

Sylwia Dębska, Piotr Potemski
Onkol. Prak. Klin 2009;5(5):189-197.

open access

Vol 5, No 5 (2009)
REVIEW ARTICLES
Published online: 2009-12-01

Abstract

Anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody trastuzumab is currently regarded as a standard therapy for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. This drug is used in adjuvant treatment as well as in metastatic breast cancer. In palliative treatment, trastuzumab is effective both in monotherapy and in combination with chemotherapy. However, there is no standard therapeutic strategy for patients who have progressed after therapy with trastuzumab. It is strongly believed that continuing trastuzumab beyond progression is beneficial for patients. This opinion results from complex mechanism of the drug action and unknown way of drug resistance emergence. This paper is a short review of current literature concerning treatment strategy for patients with progression during trastuzumab-based therapy. Analyzed strategies are: continuing trastuzumab beyond progression with replacement of combined cytotoxic drug, stopping trastuzumab and starting consecutive chemotherapy, and starting treatment with lapatinib - oral inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor and HER2.

Abstract

Anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody trastuzumab is currently regarded as a standard therapy for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. This drug is used in adjuvant treatment as well as in metastatic breast cancer. In palliative treatment, trastuzumab is effective both in monotherapy and in combination with chemotherapy. However, there is no standard therapeutic strategy for patients who have progressed after therapy with trastuzumab. It is strongly believed that continuing trastuzumab beyond progression is beneficial for patients. This opinion results from complex mechanism of the drug action and unknown way of drug resistance emergence. This paper is a short review of current literature concerning treatment strategy for patients with progression during trastuzumab-based therapy. Analyzed strategies are: continuing trastuzumab beyond progression with replacement of combined cytotoxic drug, stopping trastuzumab and starting consecutive chemotherapy, and starting treatment with lapatinib - oral inhibitor of epidermal growth factor receptor and HER2.
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Keywords

trastuzumab; HER2; lapatinib

About this article
Title

Continuing trastuzumab beyond progression in breast cancer patients - pros and cons

Journal

Oncology in Clinical Practice

Issue

Vol 5, No 5 (2009)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

189-197

Published online

2009-12-01

Bibliographic record

Onkol. Prak. Klin 2009;5(5):189-197.

Keywords

trastuzumab
HER2
lapatinib

Authors

Sylwia Dębska
Piotr Potemski

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