Doctor insights on:
What Should I Do If I Take Too Much Herceptin By Mistake
Overdose is rare: Herceptin (trastuzumab) is what is referred to as a monoclonal antibody that is used to treat some types of cancer(breast, stomach). It is typically administered by IV in a controlled setting so overdose is rare. Although cardiac issues may arise in 2-7% of patients who recieve this, it does not appear to be dose related. An "accidental overdose" has not been shown to be detrimental. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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Im a her2 stage 3 breast cancer parient . I have already finished my herceptin (trastuzumab) what would be the next medication would I take as maintenance medicine?
It depends on your b: There are many medicines used to treat breast cancer. Besides herceptin, (trastuzumab) your doctor may prescribe chemotherapy or hormonal therpy depending on the subtype of breast cancer that you have. Hormonal therpies are used for er+ cancers....So check if your tumor wass er+ or er-. Ask you oncologist to address this question. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Im a her2 breast cancer patient stage 3 . Due to financial constraint I finished 12 sessions of herceptin instead of 17 , is there any medicine I could take as a replacement of the herceptin ? I'm from the philippines and herceptin is very expensive.
Unlikely: There is not a less expensive substitute. The manufacturer might have some support programs, but I am not sure if it is available in your case. You still have gotten benefit from your treatment. Check with your oncologist to see if a support through genentech is available. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Biologic Therapy: Herceptin/trastuzumab is an antibody to a cell surface proteint coded for by the her2neu gene. Its present in some normal cells but in a subset of breast cancers (10-15%) there are multiple copies of the gene producing large amounts of the protein. The herceptin/trastuzumab antibody binds to that protein and reduces that aggressive nature of her2+cancer. It is usually given with chemo. ...Read moreSee 2 more doctor answers
Binds to tumor: Herceptin (trastuzumab) is a man-made antibody that binds to cancer cells if they express the her2 receptor. It acts like "seasoning" for the immune system, attracting immune cells which kill the tumor cells. That's a simplistic explanation, because no one really understands what happens when Herceptin (trastuzumab) binds to tumor cells. There are many theories, but we know immune cells are necessary for it to work. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Thousands!: In the us, the cost of Herceptin (trastuzumab) depends on who gives it to you and what kind of insurance you have. Patient's bills are in the range of $2000 to over &7000 per treatment. Why the difference? Medicare limits how much the cost can be "marked up" from the purchase price, but other insurance companies aren't as strict. So... The cost is what the market will bear, sadly. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Blocks cell growth: Herceptin (trastuzumab) is a "monoclonal antibody". It is a protein that binds to receptors on breast cancer cells called her-2. Her-2 causes breast cancer cells to grow uncontrollably. When Herceptin (trastuzumab) binds to these cells, it slows their growth. However, not all breast cancer cells contain the her-2 receptors. Patients must be tested for the presence of her-2 receptors before they are started on herceptin (trastuzumab). ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Killing cancer cells: Herceptin (trastuzumab) is an antibody, which is the y-shaped green thing in the picture. It sticks to the her2 protein which is present on some breast cancers (and other cancers). Herceptin (trastuzumab) seems to help the body's immune cells "see" and attack the cancer cells. For women with her2 positive breast cancer, it decreases the risk of the cancer returning by almost 50%! ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
About a week: Half life of 2 days. That means that half the blood level is gone in two days. Then, another 50% is gone in another two days, etc. ...Read more
Not herceptin (trastuzumab): Weight gain is not directly associated to herceptin (trastuzumab). Herceptin (trastuzumab) is commonly used in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy. Weight gain likely is associated with decrease of activity related to cancer and its treatment - and could be associated to the use of steroid which is given prior to chemo. It can contribute to water retention and some changes in fat distribution in the body--> weight gain. ...Read more
Genentech: I'm not sure what you mean. Genentech created Herceptin® (trastuzumab) -- http://www.gene.com/patients/medicines/herceptin. I haven't encountered generic trastuzumab in the U.S. I'm not up to date on anything ex-US except -- Roche wins battle against India sales of generic cancer drug -- http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f1d8b1ce-8fd6-11e3-aee9-00144feab7de.html#axzz4038uSIed ...Read more
Who knows : There are some studies looking at trastuzumab generic vs brand, but ongoing. Unfortunately it won't be easy to figure out which generics are the closest to that manufactured by the company that did the original studies, Genentech. ...Read more
Is herceptin (trastuzumab) still effective if I stop for 2 mos then continue it because of unavoidable circumstances?
Yes!: In the us, the studies of Herceptin (trastuzumab) looked at a full year of treatment for patients with curable breast cancer. Herceptin (trastuzumab) is given every three weeks for 17 doses. But why a year? It was chosen at random. In finland, a similar study gave only 9 weeks of herceptin (trastuzumab)... And patients did just as well! so i think you should feel reassured that you will still have a positive effect from the drug! ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Its been 4 mos now after my 12 session of herceptin (trastuzumab) , and I decided to continue my herceptin (trastuzumab), inorder to copmlete the cycle . Iis still helpful or effective after the 4 mos break?
Yea: After the hera trial was published and the data on trastuzumab was made available, everyone did not get trastuzumab. Once the data was published, the consensus was if it was less than a year, and the patient was her2 positive, one could still receive it. So yes, continue it. Probably the most effective drug for her2 positive disease. Hope this helps. ...Read more
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