Up to a quarter of all breast cancer cases test positive for the protein human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Since this discovery drugs have been developed to specifically target HER2 as an adjuvant treatment alongside chemotherapy, which has significantly improved survival times for patients. Advances in the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer have continued over the last 30 years, and as part of the BMC Medicine special series Spotlight on breast cancer, medical oncologist Sunil Verma from the University Toronto, Canada, talks us through some of the key developments in the field and what’s next for treating HER2-positive breast cancer. In this podcast short, Verma explains the story behind HER2 and the impact HER2-specific therapies have had on the treatment of advanced breast cancer. Find out more on where we go from here in the full Q&A on BMC Medicine.
“I think one of the most significant advances in treating HER2-positive advanced breast cancer has been the use of antibody-drug conjugates.”
Sunil Verma, University of Toronto
Sunil Verma is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada, and a medical oncologist at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, Canada. He completed his medical degree and postgraduate training in internal medicine and medical oncology at the University of Alberta, Canada, after which he went on to complete a fellowship in breast cancer at the University of Toronto. His research interests focus on developing novel therapies for breast and lung cancer, and reducing the toxicity of systemic treatments. In addition to his research efforts, Verma is Chair of breast medical oncology and Head of breast clinical trials at the Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre.
A complete list of series articles: