School of Chinese Medicine
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. Human epidermal receptor 2 (HER2) positive breast cancer (HER2+ BC) is the most aggressive subtype of breast cancer, with poor prognosis and a high rate of recurrence. About one third of breast cancer is HER2+ BC with significantly high expression level of HER2 protein compared to other subtypes. Therefore, HER2 is an important biomarker and an ideal target for developing therapeutic strategies for the treatment HER2+ BC. In this review, HER2 structure and physiological and pathological roles in HER2+ BC are discussed. Two diagnostic tests, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), for evaluating HER2 expression levels are briefly introduced. The current mainstay targeted therapies for HER2+ BC include monoclonal antibodies, small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors, antibody–drug conjugates (ADC) and other emerging anti-HER2 agents. In clinical practice, combination therapies are commonly adopted in order to achieve synergistic drug response. This review will help to better understand the molecular mechanism of HER2+ BC and further facilitate the development of more effective therapeutic strategies against HER2+ BC.
molecular mechanism, translational therapy, HER2 positive breast cancer, diagnostic tests, monoclonal antibodies, small molecular inhibitors, antibody–drug conjugates
Source Publication Title
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
This study was supported by the Hong Kong General Research Fund (HKBU12102914 to Ge Zhang), the Faculty Research Grant of Hong Kong Baptist University (FRG2/12-‐‑13/027 to Ge Zhang) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC 81601929 to Yuanyuan Yu).
Link to Publisher's Edition
Lv, Q., Meng, Z., Yu, Y., Jiang, F., Guan, D., Liang, C., Zhou, J., Lu, A., & Zhang, G. (2016). Molecular mechanisms and translational therapies for human epidermal receptor 2 positive breast cancer. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 17 (12), 2095. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms17122095