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.
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.
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.
Asked by anonymousLearning About Breast Cancer
Asked by anonymousPatient
My onc had me do 6 rounds taxatere/cytoxan 3 weeks apart. He wasn 't open to negotation in timing or amount of rounds. Today i am cancer free I have stage 3 Invasive lobularComment 0
I had cytoxan and taxotere four years ago (6 cycles) and my hair did not grow back. I wish I had known that was a possible side effect because I would have insisted on some other regimen. May not happen to you but it happened to me and to many other women around the world .2 comments 0
Asked by anonymousStage 2A Patient
Are you asking if anyone has dense breasts? I'm not sure I understand the question?Comment 0
I goofed up here and don't know how to erase/delete this error. I wrote another post concerning the fact that I never understood that having dense breasts is a factor in the increased risk of developing an aggressive tumor, which I did.2 comments 0
Asked by anonymousSurvivor since 2011
“Breast cancer affects one out of every eight women in their lifetime.”spread the word