HER2/neu role in breast cancer: From a prognostic foe to a predictive friend

Gianluigi Ferretti, Alessandra Felici, Paola Papaldo, Alessandra Fabi, Francesco Cognetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The principal effort of this review was to elucidate the role of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2/neu expression in breast cancer, either as an independent prognostic factor or a predictive marker of response to antineoplastic therapy, in light of the most recent results obtained with the use of trastuzumab, in either the metastatic or the adjuvant setting. RECENT FINDINGS: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-overexpressing breast cancer is known to be associated with particularly aggressive disease and poor prognosis. On the other hand, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2/neu overexpression may predict response to endocrine therapy or chemotherapy. Nevertheless, trastuzumab increases the clinical benefit of first-line chemotherapy in patients with metastatic breast cancers that overexpress human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. Decades of randomized clinical trials on the front-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer have never been able to show so remarkable differences in survival as recent randomized trials comparing chemotherapy with chemotherapy plus trastuzumab in women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer have been able to do. SUMMARY: In the pretrastuzumab era, retrospective analyses have shown that human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 overexpression is an adverse prognostic factor associated with an increased risk of disease recurrence and death. In the trastuzumab era, this drug has changed the natural history of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive breast cancer, either in the metastatic or, according to the most recent evidences, in the adjuvant setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

Fingerprint

Breast Neoplasms
Drug Therapy
human ERBB2 protein
Natural History
Antineoplastic Agents
Therapeutics
Randomized Controlled Trials
Recurrence
Survival
Trastuzumab
Pharmaceutical Preparations

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • HER2/neu
  • Predictive marker
  • Prognosis
  • Trastuzumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Cite this

HER2/neu role in breast cancer : From a prognostic foe to a predictive friend. / Ferretti, Gianluigi; Felici, Alessandra; Papaldo, Paola; Fabi, Alessandra; Cognetti, Francesco.

In: Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol. 19, No. 1, 02.2007, p. 56-62.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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