Q. And what’s Herceptin?
A. Herceptin is a targeted therapy (or immune targeted therapy) drug. Targeted therapies are manufactured antibodies that “target” specific properties of cancer cells: their production of protein, their use of enzymes, or their ability to form new blood vessels to support growth. They leave healthy cells alone, which is a plus.
How does your oncologist determine if Herceptin will help you? Herceptin is usually prescribed for women whose HER2+ cancer has spread outside the breast to the lymph nodes. If the cancer hasn’t spread, you may still be advised to take Herceptin if your cancer is estrogen/progesterone negative (ER/PR-); if the tumor is larger than 2cm, and/or it’s grade 2 or 3; or if you’re under 35 years old.
Best of luck to you – there have been a lot of advances in treatment for HER2+ breast cancer over the past 10 years, and thankfully you’ll be the beneficiary of all that research.