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01.12.2013 | review | Ausgabe 4/2013

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology 4/2013

T-DM1 in breast cancer therapeutics: the first drug of its generation

memo - Magazine of European Medical Oncology > Ausgabe 4/2013
MD, PhD Michalis V Karamouzis


Breast cancer accounts for about 20 % of female carcinomas. Expression of EGFR protein family receptors in breast carcinomas is quite common. ERBB-2 overexpression at protein level or gene amplification is present in approximately in one third of breast carcinomas and is associated with dismal prognosis. Pharmaceutical agents against ERBB-2 are currently used in breast cancer patients. The need for additional therapeutic strategies led to the development of a new class of agents called antibody-drug conjugates that were first evaluated in hematological malignancies. Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) is the first immuno-conjugate that was tested and approved for the treatment of a solid tumor. In the present review, we will briefly update the rationale and clinical data of this agent and consider its perspectives in the treatment algorithm of breast cancer patients.

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