A new therapeutic antibody masks ErbB2 to its partners

Cancer Cell. 2004 Apr;5(4):299-301. doi: 10.1016/s1535-6108(04)00088-1.


In cancer cells, the ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase can be activated in two ways: by overexpression or by ligand-mediated stimulation of another ErbB receptor. The ErbB2-targeting antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin) is used for treatment of metastatic breast cancer patients whose tumors overexpress ErbB2. A new structural study in this issue of Cancer Cell reveals how targeting ErbB2 with another antibody, pertuzumab (Omnitarg), prevents ligand-induced dimerization of ErbB2 with the other ErbB receptors. Pertuzumab's novel mode of action might offer additional therapeutic opportunities for treatment of tumors expressing ligand-activated ErbB2.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Comment

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Dimerization
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism*
  • Trastuzumab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • pertuzumab
  • Trastuzumab