Sacituzumab Govitecan Aids Unmet Need in Pretreated HR+, HER2– Breast Cancer

An expert from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute highlights the unmet needs that sacituzumab govitecan meets in the treatment of advanced hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.

The unmet needs previously seen in heavily pretreated hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer may resolve with the use and implementation of sacituzumab govitecan (Trodelvy) treatment, according to Sara M. Tolaney, MD, MPH.

CancerNetwork® spoke with Tolaney, chief of the Division of Breast Oncology and associate director of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, in Boston, ahead of the FDA’s approval of sacituzumab govitecan to treat patients with advanced HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.

According to Tolaney, alternative methods of treatment for HR-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, including CDK4/6 inhibitors and oral selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs), do not provide enduring benefits to this patient population who received prior endocrine therapy or chemotherapy. She suggested that the FDA approval of sacituzumab, however, will address an unmet need by providing additional benefits to a population of heavily pretreated patients.


There really is an unmet need in heavily pretreated hormone receptor-positive, [HER2-negative] disease. We've made great strides in improving outcomes for this patient population. We have CDK4/6 inhibitors. Soon we will have multiple other targeted agents like oral SERDs and AKT inhibitors. And I've even seen another antibody drug conjugate, trastuzumab deruxtecan [Enhertu], enter this space for the two-thirds of patients who [have] HER2-low [disease]. Despite having all these agents available, what we find is that once patients get through standard endocrine therapy and 1 or 2 lines of chemotherapy, unfortunately, that's where we start to get into trouble with very a short duration of benefit to treatment. Using sacituzumab in this space is really addressing an unmet need that we have in this population.


U.S FDA approves Trodelvy in pre-treated HR+/HER2- metastatic breast cancer. News release. Gilead. February 3, 2023. Accessed February 3, 2023.

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