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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 10 - Targeted Therapy

In addition to systemic chemotherapy and hormone therapy, there are newer, more effective treatments that can attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells. Currently, these targeted methods are commonly used in combination with traditional chemotherapy. However, targeted drugs often have less severe side effects than standard chemotherapy drugs.

Monoclonal Antibodies
One type of targeted therapy currently being studied is monoclonal antibodies. These laboratory-manufactured proteins bind with certain cancers.

Herceptin or Trastuzumab
Monoclonal antibody drugs such as Herceptin (also known as trastuzumab) and Lapatinib target HER2-positive tumors. If cancer cells are positive for the HER2/neu receptors, that means there is an overabundance of receptors on the cancer cell for the growth-stimulating HER2 protein.

The tumor acts almost like a magnet for growth hormones, and when the tumor cells connect with growth hormone cells, the cancer can quickly grow and multiply. Herceptin helps shrink these HER2-positive tumors by finding the cells, binding with them, and blocking the action of the receptor.

Bevacizumab
Another targeted therapy, Bevacizumab, prevents tumors from making new blood vessels that could feed the tumor, essentially cutting off the cancer cells from all nutrients.

As with all medical treatments, if you experience unusual changes in your health during targeted therapy, notify your doctor immediately.

Related Questions

  • Robin Layman Profile

    What is TS6 fibroadenoma with sclerosis adenosis and focal calcifications?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 8 years 1 answer
    • Lysa Allison Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I would call my doctor and ask him/ her to explain what that is and what that means for you. Good luck!

      Comment
  • jirene kaulitz Profile

    I just found a bump on the side of my left breast. Can this be cancer ?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 8 years 1 answer
    • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2003

      Not all lumps are cancer it could be a cyst, an infection abscess or a friboadenoma (a benign growth ). No matter what a breast lump needs to be evaluated by a doctor, do not wait.

      Comment
  • Sue Rice Profile

    I have just been told to stop Herceptin treatment after 4 1/2 years. Due to low heart rate function test , anyone else hadve to do the same? Was it ok or did cancer grow again?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 4 Patient
    over 6 years 8 answers
    • View all 8 answers
    • Rita Jo Hayes Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Sue I had to stop the herceptin in my first journey short 2 treatments due to cardiomyopathy from it. I was off of the herceptin group of drugs for about two years, taking hormone blockers. They no longer were working, but that bought me some time to heal my heart. It returned almost back to...

      more

      Sue I had to stop the herceptin in my first journey short 2 treatments due to cardiomyopathy from it. I was off of the herceptin group of drugs for about two years, taking hormone blockers. They no longer were working, but that bought me some time to heal my heart. It returned almost back to normal. I have mets in both my lungs. I can no longer take herceptin, but there are a couple newer meds out there in that same classification. I am currently on a combination of tykurb and xeloda, pill form. It has worked well for me so far. Have been on it for approx. 7 months. Will be getting my 3 month scans soon to see if I need to move onto one of the other herceptin type drugs. My Ono docs says I have several options yet left of newer, lower heart related side effects to try. Our goal is to keep the mets from growing or at least slow them down, which hthe tykurb n xeloda has worked well. Have your Ono doc research the new herceptin type drugs that are out there. Good luck and prayers your way.you can read my bio, I think I put the time frames in there. Thanks. Rita Jo

      1 comment
    • André Roberts Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      Wow, 4 1/2 years? I did a year of it. It's my understanding that 1 yr is protocol. Studies say that's all is needed. I've even heard of doing only 6 months. That it has the same benefit as 1 year. Now I've only been off of it since April. So far so good. Prayers to you.

      Comment
  • Aleeza Chaudhry Profile

    My mom has about two more months of chemo, five weeks of radiation, and five years of tamoxifen left for her treatment. She keeps asking when her life and body will go back to normal. Any idea of when her body will start recovering after chemo/radiation?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    about 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • anonymous Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      After chemo an rad it took my body almost 2-1/2 months. I wish I could say sooner but it was almost at the 3 month mark.
      Praying hers is much sooner. Tell her to hang in there. It will get better. For now take advantage and rest.
      God, water, walk in that order and u can survive anything.

      1 comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 3C Patient

      She's in the worst of it right now and it can be discouraging. I am 4 months post chemo and 8 weeks post radiation and I am feeling pretty good, but at night I am still physically exhausted.
      She will develop a new level of normal after all this. Once chemo is over keep her busy with family things...

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      She's in the worst of it right now and it can be discouraging. I am 4 months post chemo and 8 weeks post radiation and I am feeling pretty good, but at night I am still physically exhausted.
      She will develop a new level of normal after all this. Once chemo is over keep her busy with family things and things she used to do. It will really help.

      1 comment

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