Advanced breast cancer patients could benefit from targeted drug, study shows

For the first time, a drug targeting a protein that promotes breast cancer growth has been shown to work against tumors with very low levels of the protein.

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This is not a cure. But this latest advantage for targeted cancer therapy could open up new treatment possibilities for thousands of patients with advanced breast cancer.

Until now, breast cancer has been classified as either HER2-positive — cancer cells containing more protein than normal — or HER2-negative. Doctors reporting in advance on Sunday said it would make “HER2-low” a new category to guide breast cancer treatment.

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About half of patients with late-stage breast cancer who were previously classified as HER2-negative may actually be HER2-low and may be eligible for medication.

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The drug is Enhertu, an antibody-chemotherapy combo given by IV. It seeks out and inhibits the HER2 protein on cancer cells, as well as unleashing a powerful cancer-killing chemical inside…

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