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Role of pertuzumab in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer

Authors Hubalek M, Brantner C, Marth C

Received 1 March 2012

Accepted for publication 13 March 2012

Published 28 May 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 65—73


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Michael Hubalek, Christine Brantner, Christian Marth
Brustgesundheitzentrum Tirol, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract: Pertuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody to the HER2 receptor, represents a promising new anti-HER2 agent with a novel mechanism of action targeting the inhibition of HER2 dimerization. Nonclinical and clinical data to date indicate that pertuzumab provides a broader HER2 blockade through the inhibition of HER2 heterodimerization. In preclinical experiments, pertuzumab has demonstrated superior antitumor effects when combined with other anti-HER2 treatments such as trastuzumab, compared to when used as monotherapy. Trastuzumab and pertuzumab monoclonal antibodies bind to distinct epitopes on the HER2 receptor without competing with each other, resulting in distinctive mechanisms for disrupting HER2 signaling. These mechanisms are complementary and result in augmented therapeutic efficacy when pertuzumab and trastuzumab are given in combination. Clinically, pertuzumab may have optimal therapeutic effects when given to patients with HER2-positive cancers, in combination with trastuzumab. This observation is supported by recent clinical trials in the metastatic as well as neoadjuvant setting. Intravenous pertuzumab had an acceptable tolerability profile when added to trastuzumab and chemotherapy. This overview will review recent advances in the clinical development of this HER2-targeted therapy.

Keywords: HER2, breast cancer, pertuzumab, trastuzumab

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