Pertuzumab is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. 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. Pertuzumab was approved by the FDA for neoadjuvant (presurgery) treatment of certain types of breast cancer in combination with trastuzumab and docetaxel. Pertuzumab is marketed under the brand name Perjeta.
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 or HER2, causes the cancer to grow more aggressively. Pertuzumab is a member of a class of drugs called biologics. Pertuzumab is a monoclonal antibody designed to interfere with HER2 receptors. Pertuzumab 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?
Pertuzumab is given as an intravenous injection once every three weeks during regular chemotherapy treatments.
Pertuzumab comes in a vial.
The FDA-approved label for pertuzumab lists common side effects including 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 pertuzumab can include allergic reactions, heart failure, and severe infusion reactions.
For more information about this treatment, visit:
Perjeta (pertuzumab) — Genentech
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