Trastuzumab deruxtecan for HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma – third-line

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Therapeutic Areas: Gastrointestinal Cancer
Year: 2021

Trastuzumab deruxtecan is in development for HER2-positive gastric cancer. HER2 is a type of growth-promoting protein, which can increase cancer cell growth if present (HER2-positive). Gastric cancer originally develops in the stomach, whereas gastro-oesophageal junction cancer originates where the food pipe (oesophagus) joins the stomach. The initial stages of gastric or gastroesophageal cancer are often asymptomatic, with symptoms developing and worsening as the disease progresses.
Trastuzumab deruxtecan consists of an anti-HER2 therapy (trastuzumab) combined with a chemotherapy agent (deruxtecan). Trastuzumab specifically binds to cancer cells that are HER2-positive, which provides a targeted delivery of the deruxtecan inside cancer cells to kill them. This reduces “healthy” cells exposure to the chemotherapy with the potential to reduce negative side effects. If licensed, trastuzumab deruxtecan will offer an additional treatment option for patients whose disease progressed despite previous treatment with other anti-HER2 therapies.