oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Biological drugs in breast cancer : increasing understanding for the pharmacist : review

Volume 81, Issue 8
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Cancer in South Africa is an emerging health problem, with breast cancer being a leading cancer in women. The medical treatment of breast cancer was solely reliant on cytotoxic chemotherapy for many years. A greater understanding of the underlying biology of breast cancer has resulted in the identification of a number of molecular targets and the development of novel therapeutic agents. Thus, treatment has evolved over the past decade into a more target-directed approach with the use of biological drugs. The three currently available biological drugs registered in South Africa for use in breast cancer include trastuzumab (Herceptin®), bevacizumab (Avastin®) and lapatinib (Tykerb®). This article briefly discusses their role in targeting breast cancer.

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