Lapatinib, a TKI Dual Inhibitor of Her1 and Her2 Receptors: Review of the Literature


Lapatinib ditosylate (Tyverb?) is a potent and selective oral dual receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), preventing autophosphorylation of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR/ErbB1) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/ErbB2) intracellular domain. This interference blocks the Ras/Raf MAPKs and PI3K/Akt pathways, that lead to uncontrolled cellular proliferation and survival. After the demonstration of its effectiveness and safety in HER2-overexpressed breast cancer, in 2007 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved this molecule in combination with capecitabine, in patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease, that progressed after previous treatment with anthracyclines, taxanes and trastuzumab. In 2010, Lapatinib received approval for the treatment of postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive metastatic breast cancer in combination with letrozole. The most common adverse events (AE) are: anorexia, insomnia, diarrhea and skin rash and mild cardiovascular toxicity. This paper reviews the most important studies on Lapatinib in advanced breast cancer. However, promising results were recently reported on this drug, also in adjuvant setting and in combination with other target drugs, which warrant further investigation for the future.

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V. Lorusso, I. Marech, M. Giampaglia, A. Gnoni and A. Tinelli, "Lapatinib, a TKI Dual Inhibitor of Her1 and Her2 Receptors: Review of the Literature," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 3 No. 6, 2012, pp. 1132-1139. doi: 10.4236/jct.2012.36148.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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