The Promising Role of Tucatinib in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Therapy

Sherene Loi MD, PhD, Consultant Medical Oncologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Australia, discusses the HER2CLIMB study and the promising role of tucatinib in the treatment of metastatic, HER2-positive breast cancer.



Sherene Loi MD, PhD: Good afternoon. My name is Sherene Loi. I'm from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. This morning, I chaired the first general session at the San Antonio meeting. The most exciting data was for HER2‑positive breast cancers.

The first abstract was the presentation of the HER2CLIMB study. This study was evaluating a new oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor, tucatinib, versus placebo, in combination with capecitabine and trastuzumab in patients with metastatic HER2‑positive breast cancer with and without brain metastases.

The most exciting thing about this new agent is its ability to have anti‑tumor activity in the brain, which is important for patients with HER2‑positive breast cancer, because they often have brain metastases which are refractory to treatment and radiotherapy.

In this study, tucatinib significantly improved progression‑free survival. That is, patients' cancers grew slower whilst on tucatinib versus placebo. As well as improved overall survival, so patients lived longer when they were given tucatinib versus placebo, in combination with trastuzumab and capecitabine.

In comparisons to some of the other oral tyrosine kinase inhibitors, tucatinib had very little side effects, such as severe diarrhea. Overall, the drug was well‑tolerated and very effective, and the most promising thing about this new agent is its ability to have meaningful impact on patients with brain metastases.

That's very exciting for the field and for patients, and we hope that this drug will be available for patients very soon.

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