The Breakthrough Breast Cancer-funded team at the University of Oxford showed that combining Herceptin with pan-HER inhibitors kills cancer cells much more effectively than Herceptin on its own. The drug combination does this by knocking out the activity of HER2 and, crucially, its related proteins, too. These results were then confirmed in mouse models.
Dr Anthony Kong, the Breakthrough Breast Cancer clinician scientist who led the study, said: “It was incredible to see how much more potent Herceptin becomes when combined with a new type of drug. We think this could have a big impact in improving survival rates for patients with HER2 positive breast cancer. “We are hoping to set up a clinical trial in the near future to test this treatment combination in patients.”