HER2 targeted breast cancer clinical trials are needed to help develop new treatments for the 15-20% of breast cancer patients who test positive for the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), a protein that promotes cancer growth. This protein is located on the outside of all breast cells and causes the breast cancer to spread and grow faster than breast cancer cases without the protein. Targeted therapies for the HER2 protein are noted to be the best option for HER2 breast cancer patients right now, but HER2 breast cancer clinical trials continue to study new treatments for this disease.
Symptoms of HER2 positive breast cancer are the same for other types of breast cancer and can include:
- Breast swelling
- Change in shape of the breast
- Skin irritation and dimpling
- Pain in the breast or nipple
- Redness or thickness of the nipple or breast skin
- Discharge from the nipple
HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Diagnosis
In order to determine if a breast cancer patient is positive for the HER2 biomarker, a biopsy of the tumor is needed. The tissue taken during the biopsy is then evaluated with immunohistochemical stains (IHC) or Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH).
- Immunohistochemical stains (IHC): Used in histology to detect the presence and location of a protein marker in tissue
- Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH): A way for researchers to get full visibility of the genetic material in cells, such as genes and mutations
HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Treatment
HER2 positive breast cancer is treated differently because doctors know more about how the cancer is growing, however, common treatments include:
- Targeted therapy
- Hormone therapy
- Clinical trials
HER2 Targeted Breast Cancer Clinical Trials
There are currently 261 HER2 targeted breast cancer clinical trials recruiting in the United States. Some drugs being studied in these clinical trials include:
You should always speak to your doctor about what treatment option is appropriate for your specific case, but clinical trials may be a good option for those with HER2 positive breast cancer.