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How does Nerlynx (neratinib) work?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Fookes, BPharm. Last updated on Aug 21, 2020.

Official Answer

by Drugs.com

Nerlynx (neratinib) is a type of targeted treatment that works by irreversibly binding to and inhibiting specific receptors on the surface of cancer cells called HER2, HER4, and EGFR receptors. These receptors receive signals that tell cancer to grow and spread. By inhibiting HER2 and EGFR receptors, Nerlynx prevents HER2 positive breast cancer cells from growing and multiplying.

Breast cancer affects up to one in eight women and one out of every four breast cancers are HER2 positive. HER2-positive breast cancers make too much of the HER2 protein and this type of breast cancer tends to be more aggressive and harder to treat than HER2 negative breast cancers. The HER2 protein sits on the surface of cancer cells and receives signals that tell cancer to grow and spread.

Nerlynx belongs to a category of medications called tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This drug works by irreversibly binding to and inhibiting HER2, HER4, and EGFR receptors, which are found in abnormally large quantities on cancer cells. This inhibits their activity, their ability to direct the activity of other cells, and tumor growth. Nerlynx may also be called an irreversible pan-HER inhibitor.

Nerlynx may be used for the treatment of early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer after treatment with trastuzumab has already been given. It may also be used in combination with capecitabine for adults with advanced or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer who have already received two or more prior anti-HER2 based regimens.

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