Rational use of trastuzumab in metastatic and locally advanced breast cancer: Implications of recent research

Shom Goel, Jacquie Chirgwin, Prudence Francis, Robin Stuart-Harris, Joanna Dewar, Linda Mileshkin, Ray Snyder, Michael Michael, Bogda Koczwara

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The management of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, a disease renowned for its aggressive natural history, has been revolutionized by the introduction of trastuzumab. Indeed, outcomes for patients with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer are now equivalent to, if not better than, those of their HER2-negative counterparts. Since the pivotal registration trial, a wealth of new clinical data has emerged regarding the use of trastuzumab in a variety of clinical contexts - adding to the evidence but also highlighting areas of uncertainly and debate. These include the optimal partner chemotherapy(ies) to trastuzumab; the effectiveness of combining trastuzumab with endocrine therapy; the benefits of continuing trastuzumab after progression on a trastuzumab-containing regimen; and the role of trastuzumab in locally advanced and inflammatory breast cancer. In this paper we review major clinical trials addressing these questions, clinical recommendations that can be made as a result, and the strength of evidence that supports them. Finally, we identify areas of ongoing uncertainty, and propose recommendations for future research in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalThe Breast
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Locally advanced
  • Metastatic
  • Trastuzumab

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