Pertuzumab: in the first-line treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer

Drugs. 2012 Feb 12;72(3):353-60. doi: 10.2165/11209000-000000000-00000.


The humanized monoclonal antibody pertuzumab is the first in a new class of drugs, the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) dimerization inhibitors. Given that pertuzumab binds to a different epitope of the HER2 extracellular domain than trastuzumab, combination therapy with pertuzumab plus trastuzumab may result in more comprehensive blockade of HER2 signalling than can be achieved with trastuzumab alone. The efficacy of adding pertuzumab to trastuzumab plus docetaxel for the first-line treatment of HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer was demonstrated in the randomized, double-blind, multinational, phase III CLEOPATRA trial. Both independently assessed progression-free survival (primary endpoint) and investigator-assessed progression-free survival were significantly improved in patients receiving pertuzumab plus trastuzumab and docetaxel compared with those receiving placebo plus trastuzumab and docetaxel. The prespecified interim analysis of survival revealed a strong trend towards a survival benefit associated with pertuzumab, although this was not considered statistically significant. The objective response rate was higher with pertuzumab than with placebo. Intravenous pertuzumab had an acceptable tolerability profile when added to trastuzumab and docetaxel in the CLEOPATRA trial.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • pertuzumab