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The root cause of drug resistance in HER2-positive breast cancer and the therapeutic approaches to overcoming the resistance.

Authors
  • Zhang, Yuesheng1
  • 1 Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, USA. Electronic address: [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pharmacology & therapeutics
Publication Date
Sep 05, 2020
Pages
107677–107677
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2020.107677
PMID: 32898548
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

HER2 is a well-known oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinase. HER2 gene amplification occurs in about 20% of breast cancer (BC), which leads to overexpression of HER2 protein, known as HER2-positive BC. Inhibitors of HER2 have significantly improved the prognosis of patients with this subset of BC. Since 1998, seven HER2 inhibitors have been developed to treat this disease. However, drug resistance is common and remains a major unresolved clinical problem. Patients typically show disease progression after some time on treatment. This review discusses the complexity and diversified nature of HER2 signaling, the mechanisms of actions and therapeutic activities of all HER2 inhibitors, the roles of HER2 and other signaling proteins in HER2-positive BC resistant to the inhibitors, the non-cell-autonomous mechanisms of drug resistance, and the heterogeneity of tumor HER2 expression. The review presents the concept that drug resistance in HER2-positive BC results primarily from the inability of HER2 inhibitors to deplete HER2. Emerging therapeutics that are promising for overcoming drug resistance are also discussed. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Inc.

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