Herceptin

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Herceptin was the first drug to be approved by regulatory authorities to be used in the treatment of advanced breast cancer. Also known as Trastuzumab, Herceptin is the most widely used targeted antibody treatment for breast cancer[1]. Herceptin works by blocking the ligand-receptor interactions that are required for cell proliferation, it is specifically used in types of breast cancer where the oncogene HER-2 is amplified[2].

HER-2

HER-2 (also known as ERBB2) is a cell surface growth factor receptor that is amplified in approximately 20-25% of breast cancers[3]. In a normal example, the HER-2 gene would control cell proliferation and apoptosis, however, if the oncogene is activated, gene amplification occurs which leads to HER-2 proteins being overexpressed[4]. A diagnostic test is carried out to determine the reaction of the target proteins to the monoclonal antibody treatment (Herceptin)[5].

Limitation

One limitation of Herceptin is that many patients become resistant to the treatment, after or sometimes before the treatment is completed[6].

References

  1. Donaldson P. Daly A. Ermini L. Bevitt D. Genetics of complex disease. New York: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. 2016.
  2. Strachan T. Goodship J. Chinnery P. Genetics and Genomics in Medicine, New York: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. 2015.
  3. Donaldson P. Daly A. Ermini L. Bevitt D. Genetics of complex disease. New York: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. 2016.
  4. Breastcancer.org. 2017. [cited 18/11/17] Available from: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/diagnosis/her2
  5. Donaldson P. Daly A. Ermini L. Bevitt D. Genetics of complex disease. New York: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. 2016.
  6. Donaldson P. Daly A. Ermini L. Bevitt D. Genetics of complex disease. New York: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. 2016.
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