Trastuzumab is a recombinant humanised monoclonal antibody that specifically targets the HER2 protein. Some breast cancer cells grow and divide when human epidermal growth factor attaches itself to the HER2 protein. The simplified explanation of how trastuzumab works is that trastuzumab prevents this happening by attaching itself and blocking the activity of the HER2. This abrogates the downstream signals reducing division and growth. The exact mechanisms are more complex (see review in NEJM).
- iv, typically 8 mg/kg loading dose and 6 mg/kg maintenance dose
- A s/c preparation is in development as of 2012
- DH UK Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Adjuvant Trastuzumab (Herceptin®) With or Following Chemotherapy in HER2-positive Early Breast Cancer
- Guidance on the use of trastuzumab for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. Technology appraisal
- Trastuzumab for the adjuvant treatment of early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer
- Hitting the Headlines review. Herceptin for treating HER2-positive breast cancer
- Northern and Yorkshire Drug and Therapeutics review What is the efficacy and safety of adjuvant trastuzumab in HER2- positive patients with early-stage breast cancer?
- Northern and Yorkshire Drug and Therapeutics review What is the efficacy and safety of trastuzumab as adjuvant therapy in women with surgically removed HER2-postive early-stage breast cancer?
- SIGN. Management of Breast Cancer in Women guideline (2005) - see page 18.
- American National Cancer Institute section on herceptin
- ↑ Hudis CA. Trastuzumab--mechanism of action and use in clinical practice. The New England journal of medicine 2007;357(1):39-51. (Direct link – subscription may be required.)
- ↑ McArthur HL, Chia S. Cardiotoxicity of trastuzumab in clinical practice. The New England journal of medicine 2007;357(1):94-5. (Direct link – subscription may be required.)