HER2-positive breast cancer (HER2+) is a subtype of breast cancer that makes too much of a protein called HER2. HER2 normally helps a healthy breast cell grow and divide. But in about 25 percent of breast cancers, the HER2 gene doesn’t work properly and makes too many copies of itself. As a result, HER2+ breast cancers tend to grow faster and are more likely to spread than other types of breast cancer.
Fortunately, therapies that specifically target HER2, such as tratuzumab (Herceptin), are very effective and have had a significant impact on breast cancer survival for women with HER2+ breast cancer.
In spite of these advances, some HER2+ breast cancers do not respond to these therapies or become resistant to therapy. Komen is dedicated to finding new strategies for treating HER2+ breast cancer and identifying which women are most likely to respond to them.
To learn more about molecular sub types of breast cancer, click here.