Herceptin has been a foundation of traditional HER2+ cancer treatment. It is designed to target HER2 receptors, which may keep the cancer from growing.

Targeted therapy

  • HER2-targeted therapy is a type of cancer treatment that specifically targets HER2+ cancer cells and may also affect normal cells

Other treatment options

  • Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cells and/or shrink tumors

  • Chemotherapy is a type of medicine that kills cells that grow and divide rapidly; these can include cancer cells or normal cells

  • Hormonal therapy* helps fight tumors that thrive on hormones like estrogen or progesterone by acting on hormone receptors in tumor cells or by decreasing the amount of estrogen available to bind to these receptors

Based on your needs, your doctor may choose 1 or more of these treatments for you.

*Breast cancer only.

Patients are selected for therapy based on an FDA-approved test for Herceptin

You must have your cancer tested to determine if your cancer is HER2-positive (or HER2+) before you can start treatment with Herceptin.

How Herceptin is thought to work

HER2+ breast cancer and HER2+ stomach cancer cells have too many HER2 receptors, which send signals telling the cells to grow and divide too rapidly, causing tumors to form.

Herceptin “targets” HER2 receptors to fight tumor cell growth.

Studies have shown that Herceptin attaches to HER2 receptors. Herceptin may stop a HER2 receptor from telling the cell to grow and divide. Also, Herceptin may signal the body’s immune system to destroy that cancer cell.

Normal cells also have HER2 (just not as much), so HER2-targeted therapies can also affect normal cells and can cause side effects, including possible serious side effects.

Learn more about some things to keep in mind with Herceptin for HER2+ breast cancer.

See details about Herceptin for treating HER2+ metastatic stomach cancer.

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Would you like help paying for Herceptin?

Breast cancer icon

Do you have HER2+ breast cancer? See some things to keep in mind with Herceptin.

Stomach cancer icon

Do you have HER2+ stomach cancer? See some things to keep in mind with Herceptin.