News from Illinois CancerCare

Illinois CancerCare First in the State to Bring New Breast Cancer Research

Peoria, IL, April 27, 2020 – What does access to cutting edge care look like for a type of breast cancer that currently has no cure? At Illinois CancerCare, it means access to the most current research. And today, it means a new hope for patients diagnosed with a certain form of breast cancer that has spread to the brain. Illinois CancerCare is proud to be currently the ONLY practice in Illinois offering a new clinical trial to this group of breast cancer patients – HER2CLIMB-02.

This cancer research initiative builds on an exciting clinical trial that recently prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to grant accelerated approval to a new treatment using TUKYSA™ (tucatinib) tablets in combination with the current standard treatment (trastuzumab and capecitabine) for adult patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer that cannot be surgically removed or has spread to the brain. Results from this clinical trial, called HER2CLIMB, were released in December 2019 and offered a glimmer of hope for some of the direst patients. It is the first evidence from a clinical trial illustrating that a targeted agent, such as TUKYSA, can improve survival for patients with HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread to the brain.

Dr. Wenqing Zhang, oncologist at Illinois CancerCare is encouraged by the news: “Her-2 positive breast cancer can be aggressive with up to 50% of patients eventually developing cancer in the brain. We have limited options when the disease relapses, especially spreading to the brain. This new treatment combination is moving science forward and allows us to provide a better standard of care for this patient population.”

Illinois CancerCare strives to stay at the leading edge of cancer treatments through RESEARCH. Learn more information about this exciting new clinical trial by visiting For a full listing of our clinical trial menu, please visit

About HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

An estimated 279,100 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2020. Between 15 and 20 percent of breast cancer cases are HER2-positive. Patients with HER2-positive breast cancer have tumors with high levels of a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. Historically, HER2-positive breast cancer tends to be more aggressive and more likely to recur than HER2-negative breast cancer. Up to 50 percent of metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer patients develop brain metastases over time.

About Illinois CancerCare

Illinois CancerCare is one of the largest practices in the state of Illinois that treats patients with cancer and blood diseases. It provides state of the art treatments to its patients against these complex diseases by staying at the leading edge of clinical research. Illinois CancerCare is central Illinois’ largest network of cancer care specialists with approximately 100 open clinical cancer research trials being conducted at any given time. The group has been recognized by the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative (QOPI®) Certification Program for outpatient hematology-oncology practices that meet the highest national standards for quality cancer care. Illinois CancerCare has 15 physicians, 24 APN’s and more than 400 staff members. Illinois CancerCare serves patients in 12 cities and 12 counties throughout central and western Illinois including Bloomington/Normal, Canton, Carthage, Dixon, Eureka, Galesburg, Kewanee, Macomb, Ottawa, Pekin, Peoria, Peru and Princeton. For further information please visit