Current and emerging targeted therapies for metastatic breast cancer


  • The authors meet criteria for authorship as recommended by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, are fully responsible for all content and editorial decisions, and were involved at all stages of manuscript development.

  • Writing and editorial assistance was provided by Alyssa Tippens, PhD, of MedErgy, which was contracted by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., for these services.


The success of endocrine therapies for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and trastuzumab and lapatinib for targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive tumors has paved the way for the clinical development of several other metastatic breast cancer (MBC)-targeted therapies. Although the benefit of the anti-VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) monoclonal antibody bevacizumab in the MBC setting has become a topic of debate, clinical trial results are accumulating, and phase 3 evaluations are ongoing for newer HER2-targeted agents (pertuzumab and trastuzumab-maytansine immunoconjugate) and VEGF-targeted agents (aflibercept), as well as dual, epidermal growth factor receptor/HER2-targeted agents (afatinib [BIBW 2992] and neratinib), multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors (sunitinib and pazopanib), and mammalian target of rapamycin (everolimus) and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 inhibitors (iniparib, olaparib). These agents as well as other novel classes of anticancer agents are being tested in clinical trials with the potential of addressing unmet therapeutic needs in the MBC patient population. Cancer 2012;118: 3014–25. © 2011 American Cancer Society.