Please see Perjeta full Prescribing Information including Most Serious Side Effect for additional Important Safety Information.
Herceptin is a personalized medicine designed to specifically block the HER2 protein on the surface of some cancer cells. Based on preclinical studies, this biologic antibody is believed to work by attaching to HER2 receptors to stop signals that make the tumor cells grow and divide, and also by signaling the body’s immune system to destroy the cancer cells.
Herceptin has two approved uses in metastatic breast cancer (mBC):
Important Safety Information
Herceptin treatment can result in heart problems, including for those patients without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those patients with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure).
One patient died in an adjuvant breast cancer trial from significantly weakened heart muscle.
The risk and seriousness of these heart problems were highest in patients who received both Herceptin and a certain type of chemotherapy (anthracycline).
- Herceptin in combination with the chemotherapy drug paclitaxel is approved for the first-line treatment of HER2-positive mBC.
- Herceptin alone is approved for the treatment of HER2-positive mBC in patients who have received one or more chemotherapy regimens for metastatic disease.
Before taking the first dose of Herceptin and during treatment, a patient’s doctor should check to see if there are any health conditions that may increase the patient’s chance of having serious heart problems. This includes a review of the patient’s health history and tests to see how well the heart muscle is working. These tests may include an echocardiogram or a multigated acquisition (MUGA) scan. Some early-stage breast cancer patients may also need to have a test done after they have finished taking Herceptin to see how well their heart muscle is working.