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Emerging treatments for HER2-positive early-stage breast cancer: focus on neratinib

Authors Kourie HR, El Rassy E, Clatot F, de Azambuja E, Lambertini M

Received 2 May 2017

Accepted for publication 6 June 2017

Published 10 July 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 3363—3372


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Tohru Yamada

Hampig Raphael Kourie,1 Elie El Rassy,1 Florian Clatot,2,3 Evandro de Azambuja,4 Matteo Lambertini3,4

1Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine, Saint Joseph University, Beirut, Lebanon; 2Department of Medical Oncology and IRON/U1245, Centre Henri Becquerel, Rouen, France; 3Breast Cancer Translational Research Laboratory, 4Department of Medicine, Institut Jules Bordet, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium

Abstract: Over the last decades, a better understanding of breast cancer heterogeneity provided tools for a biologically based personalization of anticancer treatments. In particular, the overexpression of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) by tumor cells provided a specific target in these HER2-positive tumors. The development of the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab, and its approval in 1998 for the treatment of patients with metastatic disease, radically changed the natural history of this aggressive subtype of breast cancer. These findings provided strong support for the continuous research in targeting the HER2 pathway and implementing the development of new anti-HER2 targeted agents. Besides trastuzumab, a series of other anti-HER2 agents have been developed and are currently being explored for the treatment of breast cancer patients, including those diagnosed with early-stage disease. Among these agents, neratinib, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor that irreversibly inhibits HER1, HER2, and HER4 at the intracellular level, has shown promising results, including when administered to patients previously exposed to trastuzumab-based treatment. This article aims to review the available data on the role of the HER2 pathway in breast cancer and on the different targeted agents that have been studied or are currently under development for the treatment of patients with early-stage HER2-positive disease with a particular focus on neratinib.

Keywords: breast cancer, HER2-positive, neratinib, early-stage, targeted therapy

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