Perjeta is a prescription drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat metastatic breast cancer in cases where tumors overexpress the HER2 protein and chemotherapy or anti-HER2 therapy has not been tried. Perjeta was also approved by the FDA for neoadjuvant (pre-surgery) treatment of certain types of breast cancer in combination with Trastuzumab and Docetaxel. Perjeta may be referred to by its drug name, Pertuzumab.
In about 25 percent of breast cancers, there is a genetic variation that causes tumor cells to produce extra receptors for a growth factor. This gene, known as Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2), causes the cancer to grow more aggressively. Perjeta is a member of a class of drugs called biologics. Perjeta is a monoclonal antibody designed to interfere with HER2 receptors. Perjeta is believed to work by reducing the amount of growth factor receptors on cancer cells, thereby slowing the growth of tumors.
How do I take it?
Perjeta is given as an intravenous injection once every three weeks during regular chemotherapy treatments.
Perjeta comes in a vial.
The FDA-approved label for Perjeta lists common side effects including include nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, fatigue, rash, low white blood cell counts, and nerve damage that can result in numbness, tingling or pain in hands and feet.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Perjeta can include heart failure and severe infusion reactions