Trastuzumab Deruxtecan: Changing the Destiny of HER2 Expressing Solid Tumors

Alice Indini, Erika Rijavec, Francesco Grossi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


HER2 targeted therapies have significantly improved prognosis of HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer. HER2 overexpression and mutation is the pathogenic driver in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and colorectal cancer, however, to date, there are no approved HER2-targeted therapies with these indications. Trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd) is a novel HER2-directed antibody drug conjugate showing significant anti-tumor activity in heavily pre-treated HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer patients. Preliminary data have shown promising objective response rates in patients with HER2-positive NSCLC and colorectal cancer. T-DXd has an acceptable safety profile, however with concerns regarding potentially serious treatment-emergent adverse events. In this review we focus on the pharmacologic characteristics and toxicity profile of T-Dxd, and provide an update on the most recent results of clinical trials of T-DXd in solid tumors. The referenced papers were selected through a PubMed search performed on 16 March 2021 with the following searching terms: T-DXd and breast cancer, or gastric cancer, or non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), or colorectal cancer. Oral presentation, abstracts, and posters presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO, Alexandria, VA, USA) 2020 and the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO, Lugano, Switzerland) 2020 annual meetings were retrieved for data on T-DXd. We also overview ongoing research and data of combination therapies currently under investigation, which will impact on future therapeutic strategies. was searched to identify ongoing clinical trials of T-DXd alone or in combination in solid tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4774
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Apr 30 2021


  • breast cancer
  • colorectal cancer
  • gastric cancer
  • HER2
  • trastuzumab deruxtecan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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