open access

Vol 3, No 3 (2007)
Review paper
Published online: 2007-05-24
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Targeted therapy - the new hopes in breast cancer treatment

Renata Duchnowska
Onkol. Prak. Klin 2007;3(3):128-134.

open access

Vol 3, No 3 (2007)
REVIEW ARTICLES
Published online: 2007-05-24

Abstract

Mechanisms of targeted therapies include inhibition of specific tumor-related cellular processes such as invasion, proliferation, angiogenesis and metastasis. In breast cancer these compounds block two major signal pathways: related to receptors for epidermal and vascular endothelial growth factors. Active targeted agents include either monoclonal antibodies blocking selected extracellular receptors or their ligands, or low-molecular kinase tyrosine inhibitors (TKI) blocking intracellular receptor domains. The only currently available targeted compound in breast cancer is a monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Hereptin® Genentech/ Roche), used in advanced HER2-positive breast cancer either as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy. In the EU countries and in the USA trastuzumab is also approved in the adjuvant setting in HER2-positive patients. Anticancer activity has also been demonstrated for bevacizumab (Avastin® Genentech/Roche), a monoclonal antibody with antiangiogenic activity, and for lapatinib (Tycerb® Glaxo Smith Kline), a small-molecule kinase inhibitor. These drugs, however, are still the subject of clinical investigations. Targeted therapies are a promising and rapidly developing treatment option in breast cancer, however their availability is still limited by high costs.

Abstract

Mechanisms of targeted therapies include inhibition of specific tumor-related cellular processes such as invasion, proliferation, angiogenesis and metastasis. In breast cancer these compounds block two major signal pathways: related to receptors for epidermal and vascular endothelial growth factors. Active targeted agents include either monoclonal antibodies blocking selected extracellular receptors or their ligands, or low-molecular kinase tyrosine inhibitors (TKI) blocking intracellular receptor domains. The only currently available targeted compound in breast cancer is a monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Hereptin® Genentech/ Roche), used in advanced HER2-positive breast cancer either as a single agent or in combination with chemotherapy. In the EU countries and in the USA trastuzumab is also approved in the adjuvant setting in HER2-positive patients. Anticancer activity has also been demonstrated for bevacizumab (Avastin® Genentech/Roche), a monoclonal antibody with antiangiogenic activity, and for lapatinib (Tycerb® Glaxo Smith Kline), a small-molecule kinase inhibitor. These drugs, however, are still the subject of clinical investigations. Targeted therapies are a promising and rapidly developing treatment option in breast cancer, however their availability is still limited by high costs.
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Keywords

targeted therapy; receptors; EGF; VEGF; angiogenesis; trastuzumab; bevacizumab; lapatinib; small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors

About this article
Title

Targeted therapy - the new hopes in breast cancer treatment

Journal

Oncology in Clinical Practice

Issue

Vol 3, No 3 (2007)

Article type

Review paper

Pages

128-134

Published online

2007-05-24

Bibliographic record

Onkol. Prak. Klin 2007;3(3):128-134.

Keywords

targeted therapy
receptors
EGF
VEGF
angiogenesis
trastuzumab
bevacizumab
lapatinib
small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors

Authors

Renata Duchnowska

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