Brand name: Herceptin
Chemical name: Trastuzumab
How it works: HER2 inhibitors work against HER2-positive breast cancers by blocking the ability of the cancer cells to receive chemical signals that tell the cells to grow.
Uses: Herceptin typically is used to:
- treat metastatic, HER2-positive breast cancer
- reduce the risk of early-stage, HER2-positive disease coming back after surgery and other treatments as part of a regimen with chemotherapy medicines
- shrink large, advanced-stage, HER2-positive cancers before surgery
How it's given: Herceptin is given intravenously.
Additional information: Herceptin and Perjeta block the HER2 protein on the surface of breast cancer cells. Perjeta targets a different area on the HER2 receptor than Herceptin does, so it’s believed to work in a way that is complementary to Herceptin. Tykerb blocks the HER2 protein inside the cell.
Read more about Herceptin.