Study identifies lack of information about HER2 testing practices

Breast cancer patients might not be getting full advantage from a genetic screening test for the protein known as HER2 to help determine if the use of trastuzumab (marketed as Herceptin) is the best course of treatment for them. For patients whose breast cancer cells produce excessive amounts of HER2, trastuzumab can be highly effective. These conclusions appear in the first major research report from the Center for Translational and Policy Research on Personalized Medicine (TRANSPERS) established in 2008 by the UCSF School of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical Pharmacy. Center Director Kathryn Phillips, PhD, was the lead author of the paper that appeared in Cancer, online September 14, 2009. Phillips and colleagues found thath little evidence is available to determine whether all eligible patients are tested, how many are retested to confirm results, and how many with negative HER2 test results still receive trastuzumab.

Full story

Many Breast Cancer Patients May Not Be Receiving Recommended Test

Research paper

Clinical practice patterns and cost effectiveness of human epidermal growth receptor 2 testing strategies in breast cancer patients, Cancer, September 14, 2009

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.