HER2 as a Target for Breast Cancer Treatment

The effects of combination therapy can be more carefully examined using a combination of both in vitro and in vivo methods. An example is trastuzumab (Herceptin®), a humanized Ab that targets HER2/neuroblastoma-associated gene (neu) and has been approved by the FDA as a treatment for breast cancer (107). Mann et al. related in vitro cell proliferation to in vivo tumor growth in testing the potency of trastuzumab with or without the selective cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) inhibitor celecoxib (108). Both in vitro and in vivo assays were used to determine the effects of the selective COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, and/or an anti-HER-2/neu mAb (either Herceptin or 2C4) on cell growth (108). In a separate study, Agus et al. demonstrated that the in vitro and in vivo growth of several breast and prostate tumor models is inhibited by treatment with 2C4 (pertuzumab), an Ab that targets ErbB2 in a different manner with respect to trastuzumab (109).

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