Advances in targeting HER2-positive breast cancer

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Purpose of review

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy in women and HER2-positive disease comprises about 15% of all breast cancer cases. Over the last few years, substantial advances have been made in treatment of early breast cancer (EBC) and advanced (ABC) HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer. The present review summarizes the major publications on HER2+ breast cancer in the year 2017 and discusses their clinical relevance.

Recent findings

The clinically most relevant data in 2017 relates to the EBC setting. The St. Gallen Consensus 2017 for the first time recommended neoadjuvant treatment as standard of care in HER2+ EBC. Moreover, the APHINITY trial demonstrated efficacy of adjuvant dual antibody-based HER2 blockade. Data in MBC mostly confirmed established treatment strategies.


Clinical data presented in 2017 for HER2+ breast cancer confirmed current guidelines and extended treatment options for patients. First intriguing steps were made towards de-escalation in the EBC setting.

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