Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


NLM Title Abbreviation

Cancer Manag Res

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cancer Management and Research

PubMed ID


DOI of Published Version



The human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is overexpressed in 20% of breast carcinomas. Prior to the development of targeted therapies, HER2-positive breast cancer was associated with more aggressive disease and poor prognosis. Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) is an antibody-drug conjugate that results from the combination of trastuzumab and DM1, a derivative of the antimicrotubule agent maytansine. This molecule has the ability to enhance cytotoxic drug delivery to specifically targeted cells that overexpress HER2, therefore, maximizing efficacy while sparing toxicity. In recent years, T-DM1 has shown to improve outcomes in metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer that is resistant to trastuzumab. In addition, T-DM1 is currently being tested in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings to identify patients who may benefit from this therapy. This review focuses on the mechanism of action, early and late-phase clinical trials, and ongoing studies of T-DM1 in HER2-positive breast cancer.


OAfund, T-DM1, trastuzumab emtansine, HER2-positive breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, targeted therapies

Journal Article Version

Version of Record

Published Article/Book Citation

Cancer Management and Research. 2016 May 19;8:57-65. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S104447


© 2016 Recondo et al.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License