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TUKYSA Mechanism of Action

TUKYSA is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is highly selective for HER2. HER2 signaling ordinarily regulates cell growth and differentiation. HER2 is overexpressed in a number of different cancers, including breast cancer. When HER2 is overexpressed in breast cancer cells, downstream signaling triggered by receptor dimerization is highly active, increasing cell proliferation, cell survival, and metastasis. TUKYSA and trastuzumab both target HER2 directly but have distinct sites and mechanisms of action.

Let’s first take a closer look at how TUKYSA works.

As a small molecule, TUKYSA passes through the cell membrane to target HER2 from inside of the cell. Unlike pan-HER tyrosine kinase inhibitors that inhibit HER2 and EGFR with similar potency, TUKYSA is over one thousand–times more selective for HER2 in vitro. TUKYSA reversibly binds to the tyrosine kinase domain of HER2, diminishing PI3-kinase and MAP-kinase signaling, inhibiting cell proliferation, and triggering cell death.

In contrast to TUKYSA, trastuzumab inhibits HER2 signaling from outside of the cell by binding to its extracellular domain. Using TUKYSA and trastuzumab in combination is a way to block HER2 signaling more comprehensively. In preclinical and clinical studies, TUKYSA and trastuzumab together had greater antitumor activity than either drug alone.

To summarize in combination with trastuzumab, TUKSYA comprehensively and selectively blocks HER2 signaling, resulting in tumor cell death by apoptosis.

Important Safety Information

Warnings and Precautions

  • Diarrhea: TUKYSA can cause severe diarrhea including dehydration, hypotension, acute kidney injury, and death. In HER2CLIMB, 81% of patients who received TUKYSA experienced diarrhea, including 12% with Grade 3 and 0.5% with Grade 4. Both patients who developed Grade 4 diarrhea subsequently died, with diarrhea as a contributor to death. Median time to onset of the first episode of diarrhea was 12 days and the median time to resolution was 8 days. Diarrhea led to TUKYSA dose reductions in 6% of patients and TUKYSA discontinuation in 1% of patients. Prophylactic use of antidiarrheal treatment was not required on HER2CLIMB.

    If diarrhea occurs, administer antidiarrheal treatment as clinically indicated. Perform diagnostic tests as clinically indicated to exclude other causes of diarrhea. Based on the severity of the diarrhea, interrupt dose, then dose reduce or permanently discontinue TUKYSA.
  • Hepatotoxicity: TUKYSA can cause severe hepatotoxicity. In HER2CLIMB, 8% of patients who received TUKYSA had an ALT increase >5 × ULN, 6% had an AST increase >5 × ULN, and 1.5% had a bilirubin increase >3 × ULN (Grade ≥3). Hepatotoxicity led to TUKYSA dose reductions in 8% of patients and TUKYSA discontinuation in 1.5% of patients.

    Monitor ALT, AST, and bilirubin prior to starting TUKYSA, every 3 weeks during treatment, and as clinically indicated. Based on the severity of hepatotoxicity, interrupt dose, then dose reduce or permanently discontinue TUKYSA.
  • Embryo-Fetal Toxicity: TUKYSA can cause fetal harm. Advise pregnant women and females of reproductive potential of the potential risk to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential, and male patients with female partners of reproductive potential, to use effective contraception during TUKYSA treatment and for at least 1 week after the last dose.

Adverse Reactions

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 26% of patients who received TUKYSA; those occurring in ≥2% of patients were diarrhea (4%), vomiting (2.5%), nausea (2%), abdominal pain (2%), and seizure (2%). Fatal adverse reactions occurred in 2% of patients who received TUKYSA including sudden death, sepsis, dehydration, and cardiogenic shock.

Adverse reactions led to treatment discontinuation in 6% of patients who received TUKYSA; those occurring in ≥1% of patients were hepatotoxicity (1.5%) and diarrhea (1%). Adverse reactions led to dose reduction in 21% of patients who received TUKYSA; those occurring in ≥2% of patients were hepatotoxicity (8%) and diarrhea (6%).

The most common adverse reactions in patients who received TUKYSA (≥20%) were diarrhea, palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia, nausea, fatigue, hepatotoxicity, vomiting, stomatitis, decreased appetite, abdominal pain, headache, anemia, and rash.

Lab Abnormalities

In HER2CLIMB, Grade ≥3 laboratory abnormalities reported in ≥5% of patients who received TUKYSA were decreased phosphate, increased ALT, decreased potassium, and increased AST.

The mean increase in serum creatinine was 32% within the first 21 days of treatment with TUKYSA. The serum creatinine increases persisted throughout treatment and were reversible upon treatment completion. Consider alternative markers of renal function if persistent elevations in serum creatinine are observed.

Drug Interactions

  • Strong CYP3A/Moderate CYP2C8 Inducers: Concomitant use may decrease TUKYSA activity. Avoid concomitant use of TUKYSA.
  • Strong or Moderate CYP2C8 Inhibitors: Concomitant use of TUKYSA with a strong CYP2C8 inhibitor may increase the risk of TUKYSA toxicity; avoid concomitant use. Increase monitoring for TUKYSA toxicity with moderate CYP2C8 inhibitors.
  • CYP3A Substrates: Concomitant use may increase the toxicity associated with a CYP3A substrate. Avoid concomitant use of TUKYSA where minimal concentration changes may lead to serious or life-threatening toxicities. If concomitant use is unavoidable, decrease the CYP3A substrate dosage.
  • P-gp Substrates: Concomitant use may increase the toxicity associated with a P-gp substrate. Consider reducing the dosage of P-gp substrates where minimal concentration changes may lead to serious or life-threatening toxicity.

Use in Specific Populations

  • Lactation: Advise women not to breastfeed while taking TUKYSA and for at least 1 week after the last dose.
  • Renal Impairment: Use of TUKYSA in combination with capecitabine and trastuzumab is not recommended in patients with severe renal impairment (CLcr < 30 mL/min), because capecitabine is contraindicated in patients with severe renal impairment.
  • Hepatic Impairment: Reduce the dose of TUKYSA for patients with severe (Child-Pugh C) hepatic impairment.

Indication

TUKYSA is indicated in combination with trastuzumab and capecitabine for treatment of adult patients with advanced unresectable or metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, including patients with brain metastases, who have received one or more prior anti-HER2-based regimens in the metastatic setting.

Please see full Prescribing Information.