Article http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/ijcemr.2021.10.011

Pharmacogenomic Application in HER2-positive Breast Cancer


Ana Guedes1, Célia A. Gomes1, Sara Martins2, Rui Cruz1,*

1ESTESC-Coimbra Health School, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Coimbra, District of Coimbra and the Centro Region, Portugal.

2DCV-Department of Life Sciences, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, District of Coimbra and the Centro Region, Portugal.

*Corresponding author: Rui Cruz

Published: October 8,2021


Background: Pharmacogenomics elucidates the hereditary basis of inter-individual differences in drug responses. Genetic variation influences an individual’s response to a pharmacological treatment. Therefore, pharmacogenomic information can be used to make treatment more effective and safer, allowing a personalised treatment, especially in Oncology. Pharmacogenomics and precision medicine strategies are becoming increasingly prevalent in research and clinical practice. Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease that can be classified in different subtypes and about 20% to 25% of all breast cancers are HER2-positive. Several studies have established the HER2 receptor as an effective target for the treatment of breast cancer. Objective: The present review aims to survey the available drugs that target the HER2 protein and to elucidate the way in which pharmacogenomics allows to adapt the therapeutic according to the patient’s genetic profile. Methods: A search was conducted using MEDLINE/PubMed and B-on databases. Data were extracted with specific keywords and the inclusion criteria for assessing the studies published between 2013 and 2020. Results: After evaluating the several studies, we included 12 studies in this review. The trastuzumab was the first drug for anti-HER2 therapy and is a reference drug targeting breast cancer. With knowledge ever deeper the genetic patient profile, new drugs have also emerged, like pertuzumab, lapatinib and neratinib, targeting new molecular sites with a different safety and efficacy profile. These drugs can be used alone in combination therapy, which increases the chances of therapeutic success. Conclusion: The personalized medicine based on pharmacogenomic biomarkers allows treatment decisions to be made based on the genotyping of tumors and genetic profiles. Targeting therapy for genetic changes is a promising approach that improves clinical outcomes, in terms of response rates, survival, safety and costs.


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How to cite this paper

Pharmacogenomic Application in HER2-positive Breast Cancer

How to cite this paper: Ana Guedes, Célia A. Gomes, Sara Martins, Rui Cruz. (2021) Pharmacogenomic Application in HER2-positive Breast Cancer. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine Research5(4), 490-497.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26855/ijcemr.2021.10.011