When NCI-supported researchers discovered that the HER2 gene is important for breast cancer growth, this led to the development of the drug trastuzumab and other targeted treatments that have improved survival for women with HER2-positive breast cancer. For years, doctors and researchers have noted that not all cancers are alike. But for other patients, their tumors grow rapidly and spread like wildfire. In the early s, after the discovery that a mutated gene called HER2 could stimulate excessive cell growth and division, many scientists wondered if certain genes might make cancers grow and spread rapidly. Researchers around the world began searching for genes that spur cancer growth.
Shannen Doherty Shares the Painful Symptom That Signaled Her Stage 4 Breast Cancer Recurrence
Recurrent breast cancer - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
However, most people diagnosed with breast cancer will never have a breast cancer recurrence. Talk with your health care provider about your risk of breast cancer recurrence and things you can do that may lower your risk. They are equally effective in treating early breast cancer. Overall survival is the same for lumpectomy plus radiation therapy versus mastectomy. This means both treatments lower the risk of dying from breast cancer or other cause by the same amount.
HER2’s Genetic Link to Breast Cancer Spurs Development of New Treatments
January 8, , by NCI Staff. The drug is approved for use in combination with trastuzumab Herceptin and capecitabine Xeloda by patients whose cancer cannot be removed surgically or has spread to other parts of the body metastasized and who have undergone at least one prior line of treatment. Two new treatment options are emerging for women with metastatic breast cancer, following positive results from clinical trials. The trials tested the drugs tucatinib and trastuzumab deruxtecan Enhertu in women who had been previously treated for metastatic breast cancer that overproduces the HER2 protein, known as HER2-positive breast cancer. The treatment also benefited women in the trial whose cancer had spread to the brain, a particularly challenging group to treat.
The "late recurrence" or relapse of breast cancer refers to cancers that come back after five years, but may not return for 10 years, 20 years, or even more. For people who have estrogen receptor-positive tumors, the cancer is actually more likely to recur after five years than in the first five years. An awareness of the risk of late recurrence is important for a number of reasons. People are often shocked to learn that their breast cancer has come back after say, 15 years, and loved ones who don't understand this risk are often less likely to be supportive as you cope with the fear of recurrence.