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- What is pertuzumab, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for pertuzumab?
- Is pertuzumab available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for pertuzumab?
- What are the side effects of pertuzumab?
- What is the dosage for pertuzumab?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with pertuzumab?
- Is pertuzumab safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about pertuzumab?
What is pertuzumab, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Pertuzumab is an intravenous drug that is used to treat breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast (metastasized). It belongs to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies. Other monoclonal antibodies used for treating breast cancer include trastuzumab (Herceptin) and ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla). The cells of cancers have various receptors on their surfaces. Chemicals bind to these receptors and cause changes within the cancer cells. One of the receptors that occurs in about one-third of all breast cancers is called HER2. HER2 is known to control the growth and development of the cancer cells and the production of new cancer cells. If HER2 receptors are present in large numbers on the cancer cells (often referred to as overexpression of HER2), then the cancer cells may multiply and grow quickly. Normally, the immune system produces antibodies that will detect and attack HER2 receptors to slow the growth of cancer cells However, if HER2 is present in large amounts, the immune system may be unable to control HER2. Pertuzumab is a man-made antibody developed using molecular cloning and recombinant DNA technology. Pertuzumab is thought to block the HER2 receptors when there is overexpression, thereby blocking growth of the cancer. The FDA approved pertuzumab in June 2012.
What are the side effects of pertuzumab?
Common side effects of pertuzumab include:
- Reduced number of white blood cells
- Hair loss
- Pain in extremities
- Changes in sense of taste (dysgeusia)
Pertuzumab also causes heart failure, infusion reactions, and serious allergic reactions. Treatment may also reduce the number of red blood cells (anemia), and reduce the number of platelets and white blood cells. A reduced number of white blood cells increases the risk for febrile neutropenia and infections.
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What is the dosage for pertuzumab?
- Pertuzumab is given by intravenous infusion only.
- The initial recommended dose is 840 mg administered as a 60-minute
- intravenous infusion, followed every 3 weeks thereafter by 420 mg administered as a 30 to 60 minute intravenous infusion.
- Pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and docetaxel should be administered by intravenous infusion every 3 weeks for metastatic breast cancer.
- For neoadjuvant treatment, pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and docetaxel should be administered by intravenous infusion preoperatively every 3 weeks for 3 to 6 cycles.
Is pertuzumab safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
It is not known whether trastuzumab is excreted in human milk. Nursing mothers should decide whether to stop nursing or discontinue pertuzumab.
What else should I know about pertuzumab?
What preparations of pertuzumab are available?
Solution for intravenous infusion: 420 mg/14 mL (30 mg/mL) single-use vial
How should I keep pertuzumab stored?
Pertuzumab vials should be refrigerated at 2 C to 8 C (36 F to 46 F) until it is used.
REFERENCE: FDA Prescribing Information.
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