HER2 dimerization inhibitor pertuzumab - Mode of action and clinical data in breast cancer

Nadia Harbeck*, Matthias W. Beckmann, Achim Rody, Andreas Schneeweiss, Volkmar Müller, Tanja Fehm, Norbert Marschner, Oleg Gluz, Iris Schrader, Georg Heinrich, Michael Untch, Christian Jackisch

*Corresponding author for this work
37 Citations (Scopus)


The humanized monoclonal antibody pertuzumab prevents the dimerization of HER2 with other HER receptors, in particular the pairing of the most potent signaling heterodimer HER2/HER3, thus providing a potent strategy for dual HER2 inhibition. It binds to the extracellular domain of HER2 at a different epitope than trastuzumab. Pertuzumab and trastuzumab act in a complementary fashion and provide a more complete blockade of HER2-mediated signal transduction than either agent alone. Phase II studies demonstrated that pertuzumab was generally well tolerated as a single agent or in combination with trastuzumab and/or cytotoxic agents, and implied an improved clinical efficacy of the combination of pertuzumab and trastuzumab in early and advanced HER2-positive breast cancer. Results of the pivotal phase III study CLEOPATRA in patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer demonstrated that the addition of pertuzumab to first-line combination therapy with docetaxel and trastuzumab significantly prolonged progression-free and overall survival without increasing cardiac toxicity. Currently, the combination of both antibodies is being explored in the palliative setting as well as in the treatment of early HER2-positive breast cancer. Dual HER2 inhibition with the HER2 dimerization inhibitor pertuzumab and trastuzumab may change clinical practice in HER2-positive first-line metastatic breast cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBreast Care
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2013


Dive into the research topics of 'HER2 dimerization inhibitor pertuzumab - Mode of action and clinical data in breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this