HER2 positive breast cancer is confirmed when there are higher levels of the protein called HER2 in the tumor. This type of cancer is common in about 1 in 5 women diagnosed with breast cancer. So, what is a HER2 positive breast cancer prognosis? HER2 positive breast cancer cases have a higher likelihood of metastasis and recurrence, however the prognosis for each breast cancer is dependent on their unique cancer case. HER2 positive breast cancer tends to grow and spread faster than other breast cancers.
HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Prognosis
A breast cancer prognosis is determined depending on the stage of the cancer and how far it has spread. Thus, prognosis for breast cancer patients varies widely patient to patient.
HER2 Positive Breast Cancer Treatment
HER2 positive breast cancer is often treated with drugs that specifically target the HER2 protein. There are a few different types of drugs that target the HER2 protein, which include:
- Monoclonal antibodies: man-made antibodies that are design to attach to a specific target, such as the HER2 protein on cancer cells, stopping the cancerous cells from growing.
- Antibody-drug conjugates: a type of monoclonal antibody linked to a chemotherapy drug, which causes the drug to bring the chemotherapy directly to the HER2 proteins.
- Ado-trastuzumab emtansine
- Fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan
- Kinase inhibitors: HER2 is a type of protein called a kinase, which is a protein that relays signals telling cancer cells to grow. Kinase inhibitors block kinases, stopping them from doing their job.
Patients with HER2 positive breast cancer should consult their oncologist and care team about which treatment option might be best for them. Although targeted therapies are generally more effective, there are different options which might be best depending on each patient’s unique case.