Stomach cancer (also known as gastric cancer) includes cancer of the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ), where the esophagus meets the stomach.

Herceptin is approved, in combination with chemotherapy (cisplatin and either capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil), for the treatment of HER2-positive metastatic cancer of the stomach or GEJ in patients who have not received prior treatment for their metastatic disease.

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

In one study, about 1 in 5 people with stomach cancer had tumors that were HER2-positive (or HER2+).

What is HER2+ stomach cancer?

In stomach cancer that is HER2+, the cancer cells have too many HER2 receptors.

  • Too many HER2 receptors on cancer cells make this type of cancer grow faster

What is a HER2 receptor?

It’s a type of protein found in everyone. HER2 receptors are on the surface of both normal cells and cancer cells.

This protein tells cells to grow and divide. Too much HER2 is called “HER2 overexpression” or “HER2+.”

Herceptin for HER2+ metastatic stomach cancer

Stomach cancers are often diagnosed at the metastatic stage in the US, which means the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Herceptin is the first monoclonal antibody therapy approved for use as the first treatment of HER2+ metastatic stomach or GEJ cancer.

Herceptin is proven to increase the chances of living longer

Herceptin was studied in a clinical trial of 594 people with HER2+ metastatic stomach/GEJ cancer that was not previously treated.

  • About half the people were treated with chemotherapy alone—and the other half were treated with chemotherapy plus Herceptin*
  • The group of people who received Herceptin as part of their cancer treatment lived 23% longer (13.5 months vs 11.0 months), in general, than the group of people who had chemotherapy without Herceptin
  • In a follow-up analysis 1 year later, the group of people who received Herceptin as part of their cancer treatment lived 12% longer (13.1 months in the chemotherapy + Herceptin group vs 11.7 months in the chemotherapy alone group)

*Chemotherapy was cisplatin + either capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil.
This clinical trial analyzed overall survival by statistically comparing the 2 treatment groups: 298 patients who were treated with chemotherapy + Herceptin and 296 patients who were treated with chemotherapy alone. The study found that “median overall survival” was 13.5 months in the chemotherapy + Herceptin group compared with 11.0 months in the chemotherapy alone group—23% longer in the group that received Herceptin. In other words, after starting treatment, half of the patients in the first group lived less than 13.5 months, and half lived longer than 13.5 months. And, after starting treatment, half of the patients in the second group lived less than 11.0 months, and half lived longer than 11.0 months.

Discover how Herceptin is designed to target specific proteins.

Get more information on the side effects of patients receiving Herceptin for metastatic stomach cancer.

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Herceptin is designed to target specific proteins on cells to fight cancer.

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For 20 years, doctors have prescribed Herceptin for millions of people with breast cancer or stomach cancer.