Targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) in gynecologic malignancies

Britt K. Erickson, Burak Zeybek, Alessandro D. Santin, Amanda N. Fader

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewThe purpose of this review is to describe the role of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) as a biomarker and potential target in gynecologic malignancies and to describe contemporary updates in the use of anti-HER2 treatments for these cancers.Recent findingsApproximately 25-30% of all patients with uterine serous carcinoma overexpress tumoral HER2. The anti-HER2 antibody trastuzumab represents an effective, targeted therapy with significant efficacy in the treatment of HER2-positive breast and gastric cancer. Recently, trastuzumab efficacy has also been demonstrated in a randomized controlled trial of women with advanced or recurrent uterine serous carcinoma. Additionally, trastuzumab may be effective in women with HER2-positive uterine carcinosarcoma. The role of anti-HER2 therapy is unclear in women with other gynecologic malignancies but is being evaluated.SummaryHER2 amplification/overexpression is an effective therapeutic target in select gynecologic malignancies, and especially in the rare endometrial cancer subtype, uterine serous carcinoma. As anti-HER2-targeted therapies become increasingly available, more treatment options may become available for women with HER2-positive disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research reported in this publication was supported to B.K.E. by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number K12HD055887 and to A.D.S. by R01 CA154460-01 and U01 CA176067-01A1 grants from NIH, the Deborah Bunn Alley Foundation, the Tina Brozman Foundation, the Discovery to Cure Foundation, the Guido Berlucchi Foundation, and the Stand-up-to cancer (SU2C) convergence grant 2.0 to A.D.S. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • biomarker
  • human epidermal growth factor receptor 2
  • ovarian cancer
  • uterine serous carcinoma


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