Trastuzumab as first-line therapy in HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients

Lucia Del Mastro, Matteo Lambertini, Claudia Bighin, Alessia Levaggi, Alessia D'Alonzo, Sara Giraudi, Paolo Pronzato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trastuzumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody against the extracellular domain of hEGF receptor-2 (HER2). Trastuzumab in combination with chemotherapy has proven efficacy in treating both early and metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer. In the metastatic setting, the addition of trastuzumab to chemotherapy is associated with a statistically significant longer time to disease progression, higher rate of objective response and improvement in overall survival. Trastuzumab efficacy is not influenced by hormone receptor status, but differences in median overall survival exist between HER2-positive and HER2-negative states. Reassessment of the benefit of re-exposing patients with metastatic breast cancer to trastuzumab following relapse in the adjuvant setting is necessary. Ongoing research into new HER2-targeted therapies and trials involving combination anti-HER2 drug therapy without chemotherapy show promise. This review is focused on the available results obtained with the use of trastuzumab in the subset of HER2-positive breast cancer patients with metastatic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1391-1405
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • chemotherapy
  • HER2
  • metastatic breast cancer
  • trastuzumab

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Oncology


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