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A New Drug Therapy for HER2+ Breast Cancer May Be on the Horizon

Patients with HER2-positive breast cancer who develop resistance to trastuzumab may soon have an alternative therapy, according to recent findings published in Clinical Cancer Research.


This therapy involves HER2-Affitoxin, a protein that combines HER2-specific affibody molecules and a modified bacterial toxin, PE38, said Jacek Capala, PhD, DSc, an investigator at the National Cancer Institute and study investigator. Instead of interfering with the HER2 signaling pathway, as trastuzumab does, this protein uses HER2 as a means to supply a form of bacterial toxin specifically to the HER2-positive cancer cells. Upon absorption of the toxin, the cells’ production of protein is inhibited and the cells are destroyed.


Although trastuzumab may have transformed the treatment of patients with HER2-positive breast cancer, medical professionals are finding a substantial number of tumors become resistant. As a member of the medical field, have you found this to be true? Do you feel Affitoxin could potentially be an alternative treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer? Please share your thoughts, opinions, and/or experiences in the comments section below.

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Last modified: January 11, 2018