Herceptin (Trastuzumab)

Despite adequate local treatment of breast cancer (surgery +/- radiotherapy) a proportion of patients will develop spread to other organs in the body in the future. This indicates that these cells must have spread by the time that the cancer is removed from the breast. The likelihood that breast cancer cells may have spread, and the prognosis of an individual patient, can be predicted by the pathology results and extra or adjuvant therapy may be used to try to control these tumour cells. Adjuvant therapies include hormone therapy, chemotherapy and targeted treatments such as herceptin.

Herceptin (Trastuzumab)  is a monoclonal antibody that interferes with the way that some breast cancers grow and divide. It works by binding to the HER2 protein that is found in approximately 12-15% of all breast cancers. Herceptin only works in women who have high levels of the HER2 protein and when given in combination with chemotherapy.

Herceptin is normally given as a short intravenous infusion every three weeks for up to one year.