Lapatinib: New Directions in HER2 Directed Therapy for Early Stage Breast Cancer

  • A. Jo Chien
  • Hope S. Rugo
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 151)


Research over the last 20 years has resulted in the discovery of a wealth of information with regard to the biology of HER2 and the HER family, as well as convincing evidence supporting the HER2 oncogene hypothesis in the pathogenesis of human breast cancer. HER2 overexpressing tumors are highly addicted to HER2 function and undergo apoptotic cell death if HER2 function is lost. Approximately 25–30% of breast cancers overexpress HER2; clinically these tumors have been shown to have a more aggressive tumor biology and are associated with a worse clinical prognosis [1, 2] (although this has been modified by the use of chemotherapy and targeted therapies). Therefore, HER2 has become one of the most attractive targets in cancer therapeutics.

Efforts to develop HER2-inhibitors have primarily focused on two classes of drugs. The first includes monoclonal antibodies like trastuzumab that bind to the extracellular domain of the HER2 receptor. As discussed in the previous chapter,...


Breast Cancer Brain Metastasis Inflammatory Breast Cancer Pathologic Complete Response Weekly Paclitaxel 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California San FranciscoHelen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer CenterSan FranciscoUS

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