Pertuzumab in the Treatment of HER2+ Breast Cancer

Pertuzumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody and the first in the class of agents called the HER2 dimerization inhibitors, impairs the ability of HER2 to bind to other members of the HER family. It has a unique and complimentary mechanism of action compared with trastuzumab, and the combination has resulted in the enhanced blockade of the HER signaling pathway. When pertuzumab was used in combination with docetaxel and trastuzumab in the first-line treatment of metastatic HER2+ breast cancer, it led to an overall survival benefit. Pertuzumab has therefore been approved by the FDA and is currently used as a standard of care for this indication. It is also the first agent in oncology to receive accelerated FDA approval in the neoadjuvant setting. Randomized trials showed that the addition of pertuzumab to trastuzumab based chemotherapy improves pathologic complete response rates in HER2+ early-stage breast cancer. A randomized phase III clinical trial with disease-free survival as the primary end point is evaluating the safety and efficacy of pertuzumab in the adjuvant setting. This article describes the preclinical data, synthesizes available data from phase I–III clinical trials of pertuzumab in early stage and metastatic settings, and puts them into perspective with current treatment recommendations and future research developments.

Target Audience

This activity has been designated to meet the educational needs of physicians and nurses involved in the management of patients with cancer.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the unique and complimentary mechanism of action of pertuzumab with trastuzumab resulting in enhanced blockade of the HER signaling pathway
  • Evaluate the safety and efficacy of pertuzumab in the management of HER2+ breast cancer in the neoadjuvant and metastatic settings
Additional information
Supporters: 

No commercial support was received for this article.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 Participation
  • 1.00 Nurse
  • 1.00 Physician
Course opens: 
04/11/2014
Course expires: 
04/11/2015
Cost:
$0.00

Komal Jhaveri, MD
New York University Cancer Institute
New York, New York

Francisco J. Esteva, MD, PhD
New York University Cancer Institute
New York, New York

Available Credit

  • 1.00 Participation
  • 1.00 Nurse
  • 1.00 Physician

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
04/11/2014
Course expires: 
04/11/2015

Price

Cost:
$0.00
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Required Hardware/software

To access this activity, users will need:

  • A device with an Internet connection
  • Adobe Reader or other PDF reader software for article and certificate viewing/printing