Breast Cancer Treatment and Antibody Drug Conjugates: Beyond T-DM1

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Mony Ung Jean Louis Lacaze Eleonora de Maio Florence Dalenc


Antibody–drug conjugates (ADCs) are a new class of anticancer agents that combine cytotoxic agents attached by a linker to a monoclonal antibody. These engineered drugs can selectively deliver a cytotoxic payload to targeted cancer cells and the local microenvironment (bystander effect), thereby increasing activity and reducing off-target toxicity. The association of ADCs with other anti-cancer therapies is therefore promising.

Trastuzumab-emtansine was the first approved ADC in breast cancer (BC), specifically for the management of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive advanced breast cancer. New ADCs are in development in BC. Some have shown meaningful clinical benefit and have been recently approved, such as trastuzumab deruxtecan in HER2-positive trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) pretreated BC and Trop-2 guided sacituzumab govitecan in triple-negative BC. Trastuzumab deruxtecan also has potential clinical activity in HER2-low BC thanks to a bystander effect. In this article, we review the ADCs under development in advanced BC.

Keywords: antibody–drug conjugates, breast cancer, HER2-positive, HER2-low, triple-negative

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How to Cite
UNG, Mony et al. Breast Cancer Treatment and Antibody Drug Conjugates: Beyond T-DM1. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 8, aug. 2021. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 31 jan. 2023. doi:
Research Articles


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