Sara Hurvitz, MD, Speaks to Improvements in Treatment for HER2+ Breast Cancer

Approval Alert | <b>Trastuzumab Deruxtecan for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer</b>

Sara Hurvitz, MD, spoke to the difficulty of treating HER2-positive and advanced HER2-positive breast cancer and how the efficacy of novel agents such as fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki could make a difference in treating the disease.

Sara Hurvitz, MD, associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine, medical director of the Johnson Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Research Unit, co-director of the Santa-Monica- University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Outpatient Oncology Practices, and director of the Breast Cancer Clinical Trials Program at the University of California Los Angeles, spoke with CancerNetwork® about improvements in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer. She discussed the FDA approval of fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd; Enhertu) for patients with unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have received prior anti-HER2-based treatments and its impact on the treatment paradigm.1

The approval was based on the results of the phase 3 DESTINEY-Breast03 trial (NCT03529110), assessing the use of T-DXd vs ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1; Kadcyla).2 The objective response rate was 79.7% (95% CI, 74.3%-84.4%) in the T-DXd arm vs 34.2% (95% CI, 28.5% vs 40.3%) in the T-DM1 arm.


Although HER2-positive breast cancer is now able to be treated with a number of HER2-targeted therapies, T-DXd is an agent that has demonstrated remarkable anti-tumor activity. HER2-positive breast cancer is a type of disease that is more aggressive biologically and [is] associated with worse outcomes including survival in the absence of HER2 targeted therapies. Although our HER2 targeted therapies are very important and have improved outcomes for patients, [those] diagnosed with metastatic disease that's HER2-positive still are not generally considered to be curable. T-DXd has achieved an impressive objective response, prolonged progression-free survival, and [yielded] a strong trend toward overall survival. All of these are improving outcomes for patients compared with the standard agents we have available for this disease.


  1. Enhertu approved in the US for patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer treated with a prior anti-HER2-based regimen. News release. AstraZeneca. May 5, 2022. Accessed May 20, 2022.
  2. Cortés J, Kim SB, Chung WP, et al. Trastuzumab deruxtecan versus trastuzumab emtansine for breast cancer. N Engl J Med. 2022;386(12):1143-1154. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa2115022