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SAFETY

Boxed WARNINGS and Additional Important Safety Information

  • Herceptin administration can result in sub-clinical and clinical cardiac failure. The incidence and severity was highest in patients receiving Herceptin with anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimens. In a pivotal adjuvant breast cancer trial, one patient who developed CHF died of cardiomyopathy
  • Evaluate cardiac function prior to and during treatment. For adjuvant breast cancer therapy, also evaluate cardiac function after completion of Herceptin. Discontinue Herceptin for cardiomyopathy
  • Herceptin can result in serious and fatal infusion reactions and pulmonary toxicity. Discontinue Herceptin for anaphylaxis, angioedema, interstitial pneumonitis, or acute respiratory distress syndrome
  • Exposure to Herceptin during pregnancy can result in oligohydramnios, in some cases complicated by pulmonary hypoplasia and neonatal death
  • Exacerbation of chemotherapy-induced neutropenia has also occurred
  • Detection of HER2 protein overexpression is necessary for selection of patients appropriate for Herceptin therapy
  • The most common adverse reactions associated with Herceptin in breast cancer were fever, nausea, vomiting, infusion reactions, diarrhea, infections, increased cough, headache, fatigue, dyspnea, rash, neutropenia, anemia, and myalgia
  • The most common adverse reactions associated with Herceptin in metastatic gastric cancer were neutropenia, diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, stomatitis, weight loss, upper respiratory tract infections, fever, thrombocytopenia, mucosal inflammation, nasopharyngitis, and dysgeusia

Safety First! Before you start exploring, take the time to read the Important Safety Information. Roll over to read more.

Proposed Mechanism of Action

Herceptin MOA

Watch the video for an overview of the proposed mechanism of action for Herceptin.

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Herceptin (trastuzumab) is a monoclonal antibody specifically designed to target HER2.

Monoclonal Antibody


It is believed to block downstream signaling pathways.

Monoclonal Antibody


Herceptin flags the tumor cell for destruction by the body's immune system, known as antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC).

Antibody Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity


Herceptin prevents HER2 shedding.1

HER2 Shedding


Herceptin may work to enhance the effects of chemotherapy as shown in multiple pre-clinical studies.1

Cells


References
  1. American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2009-2010. Atlanta: American Cancer Society, Inc. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@nho/documents
    /document/f861009final90809pdf.pdf
    . Accessed August 24, 2010.

Indications

Adjuvant Breast Cancer

Herceptin is indicated for adjuvant treatment of HER2-overexpressing node-positive or node-negative (ER/PR-negative or with one high-risk feature*) breast cancer:

  • As part of a treatment regimen containing doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and either paclitaxel or docetaxel
  • With docetaxel and carboplatin
  • As a single agent following multi-modality anthracycline-based therapy

* High-risk is defined as ER/PR positive with one of the following features: tumor size >2 cm, age <35 years, or tumor grade 2 or 3.

Metastatic Breast Cancer

Herceptin is indicated:

  • In combination with paclitaxel for the first line treatment of HER2-overexpressing metastatic breast cancer
  • As a single agent for treatment of HER2-overexpressing breast cancer in patients who have received one or more chemotherapy regimens for metastatic disease

Metastatic Gastric Cancer

Herceptin is indicated, in combination with cisplatin and capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil, for the treatment of patients with HER2 overexpressing metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, who have not received prior treatment for metastatic disease.


Boxed WARNINGS and Additional Important Safety Information

Cardiomyopathy

  • Herceptin administration can result in sub-clinical and clinical cardiac failure. The incidence and severity was highest in patients receiving Herceptin with anthracycline-containing chemotherapy regimens. In a pivotal adjuvant breast cancer trial, one patient who developed CHF died of cardiomyopathy
  • Herceptin can cause left ventricular cardiac dysfunction, arrhythmias, hypertension, disabling cardiac failure, cardiomyopathy, and cardiac death
  • Herceptin can also cause asymptomatic decline in LVEF
  • Discontinue Herceptin treatment in patients receiving adjuvant breast cancer therapy and withhold Herceptin in patients with metastatic disease for clinically significant decrease in left ventricular function

Cardiac Monitoring

  • Evaluate cardiac function prior to and during treatment. For adjuvant breast cancer therapy, also evaluate cardiac function after completion of Herceptin
  • Conduct thorough cardiac assessment, including history, physical examination, and determination of LVEF by echocardiogram or MUGA scan
  • Monitor frequently for decreased left ventricular function during and after Herceptin treatment
  • Monitor more frequently if Herceptin is withheld for significant left ventricular cardiac dysfunction

Infusion Reactions

  • Herceptin administration can result in serious and fatal infusion reactions
  • Symptoms usually occur during or within 24 hours of Herceptin administration
  • Interrupt Herceptin infusion for dyspnea or clinically significant hypotension
  • Monitor patients until symptoms completely resolve
  • Discontinue Herceptin for infusion reactions manifesting as anaphylaxis, angioedema, interstitial pneumonitis, or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Strongly consider permanent discontinuation in all patients with severe infusion reactions
  • Infusion reactions consist of a symptom complex characterized by fever and chills, and on occasion include nausea, vomiting, pain (in some cases at tumor sites), headache, dizziness, dyspnea, hypotension, rash, and asthenia

Embryo-Fetal Toxicity

  • Exposure to Herceptin during pregnancy can result in oligohydramnios and oligohydramnios sequence manifesting as pulmonary hypoplasia, skeletal abnormalities, and neonatal death
  • Advise women of the potential hazard to the fetus resulting from Herceptin exposure during pregnancy and provide counseling to women of childbearing potential to use effective contraceptive methods during treatment and for a minimum of six months following Herceptin
  • Advise nursing mothers treated with Herceptin to discontinue nursing or discontinue Herceptin, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother
  • Encourage women who are exposed to Herceptin during pregnancy to enroll in MotHER—the Herceptin Pregnancy Registry by calling 1-800-690-6720

Pulmonary Toxicity

  • Herceptin administration can result in serious and fatal pulmonary toxicity, which includes dyspnea, interstitial pneumonitis, pulmonary infiltrates, pleural effusions, non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema, pulmonary insufficiency and hypoxia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and pulmonary fibrosis. Such events can occur as sequelae of infusion reactions
  • Patients with symptomatic intrinsic lung disease or with extensive tumor involvement of the lungs, resulting in dyspnea at rest, appear to have more severe toxicity
  • Discontinue Herceptin in patients experiencing pulmonary toxicity

Exacerbation of Chemotherapy-Induced Neutropenia

  • In randomized, controlled clinical trials, the per-patient incidences of NCI CTC Grade 3-4 neutropenia and of febrile neutropenia were higher in patients receiving Herceptin in combination with myelosuppressive chemotherapy as compared to those who received chemotherapy alone. The incidence of septic death was similar among patients who received Herceptin and those who did not

HER2 Testing

  • Detection of HER2 protein overexpression is necessary for selection of patients appropriate for Herceptin therapy because these are the only patients studied and for whom benefit has been shown. Due to differences in tumor histopathology, use FDA-approved tests for the specific tumor type (breast or gastric/gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma) to assess HER2 overexpression and HER2 gene amplification. Tests should be performed by laboratories with demonstrated proficiency in the specific technology being utilized

Most Common Adverse Reactions

  • The most common adverse reactions associated with Herceptin in breast cancer were fever, nausea, vomiting, infusion reactions, diarrhea, infections, increased cough, headache, fatigue, dyspnea, rash, neutropenia, anemia, and myalgia
  • The most common adverse reactions associated with Herceptin in metastatic gastric cancer were neutropenia, diarrhea, fatigue, anemia, stomatitis, weight loss, upper respiratory tract infections, fever, thrombocytopenia, mucosal inflammation, nasopharyngitis, and dysgeusia

Please see Herceptin full Prescribing Information for Boxed WARNINGS and additional important safety information.

Herceptin

Herceptin