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Activating mutations and senescence secretome: new insights into HER2 activation, drug sensitivity and metastatic progression

Swarnali Acharyya

Author Affiliations

Cancer Biology and Genetics Program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 1275 York Avenue, New York, New York 10065, USA

Breast Cancer Research 2013, 15:309  doi:10.1186/bcr3406

Published: 23 April 2013


HER2 amplification and overexpression is observed in approximately 20% of breast cancers and is strongly associated with poor prognosis and therapeutic responsiveness to HER2 targeted agents. A recent study by Bose and colleagues suggests that another subset of breast cancer patients without HER2 amplification but with activating HER2 mutation might also benefit from existing HER2-targeted agents and the authors functionally characterize these somatic mutations in experimental models. In a second study on HER2-driven breast cancer, Angelini and colleagues investigate how the constitutively active, truncated carboxy-terminal fragment of HER2, p95HER2, promotes metastatic progression through non-cellautonomous secretion of factors from senescent cells. These new findings advance our understanding of HER2 biology in the context of HER2 activation as well as offer new insights into our understanding of drug sensitivity and metastatic progression.