Possible Reasons Why Tyverb/Tykerb Fails as Breast Cancer Monotherapy Explored in Study

Possible Reasons Why Tyverb/Tykerb Fails as Breast Cancer Monotherapy Explored in Study
Lapatinib, an approved medicine for advanced breast cancer available under the brand names Tyverb in Europe and Tykerb in the U.S., can sometimes cause breast cancer cells to grow under laboratory condition. In a new study, researchers examine how this could happen. The findings help explain why a treatment approved as a combination therapy for HER2-positive cancers failed clinical trials as a stand-alone treatment. They may also lead to better HER2-targeting approaches in the future, the scientists report. "If certain breast cancer drugs can cause cancer cells to grow more rapidly in particular circumstances in the lab, we need to evaluate carefully if that might happen in subsets of patients as well," Jeroen Claus, study lead author at the Francis Crick Institute in the U.K., said in a press release. "Determining these risk factors could help doctors decide which patients may benefit most from these drugs." The study, “Inhibitor-induced HER2-HER3 heterodimerisation promotes proliferation through a novel dimer interface,” was published in the journal eLife. Nearly 20 percent of breast cancer cases are caused by an excess of the HER2 factor. The receptor, which regulates cell division, is increased by up to 1,000-fold in certain breast cancers, causing cells to divide uncontrollably and promoting tumor growth. Several approved medi
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