What is pertuzumab? What is pertuzumab used for?
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 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?
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.
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.
Which drugs or supplements interact with pertuzumab?
The manufacturer has not identified any pertuzumab drug interactions.
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.
Latest Cancer News
Pertuzumab (Perjeta) is an IV drug used to treat breast cancer that has metastasized. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy and breastfeeding safety information should be reviewed before taking this product.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Learn about breast cancer causes, symptoms, tests, recovery, and prevention. Discover the types of treatments such as surgery and...
Breast Cancer Quiz: Symptoms & Signs
This Breast Cancer Quiz features signs, symptoms, facts, causes, common forms, terms, risk factors, statistics, and more. ...
Picture of Breast Anatomy
The breast refers to the front of the chest or, more specifically, to the mammary gland. See a picture of Breast Anatomy and...
Related Disease Conditions
The breast, or mammary gland is made up of lobules, milk producing glands, and a system of ducts to transport milk. Both males and females have breasts. Abnormal enlargement of breasts in men is referred to as gynecomastia. In women, during pregnancy the breasts grow larger and produce milk. Common medical conditions that affect the breasts include breast cancer, breast lumps, fibrocystic changes and cysts, mastitis, and benign tumors (fibroadenomas).
Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
Male Breast Cancer
Male breast cancer accounts for 1% of all breast cancers, and most cases are found in men between the ages of 60 and 70. A man's risk of developing breast cancer is one in 1,000. Signs and symptoms include a firm mass located below the nipple and skin changes around the nipple, including puckering, redness or scaling, retraction and ulceration of the nipple. Treatment depends upon staging and the health of the patient.
Breast Cancer Recurrence
Breast cancer most often recurs within the first three to five years after the initial treatment. Changes in the look, feel, or appearance of the breast may indicate breast cancer recurrence. Factors related to recurrence include tumor size, tumor grade, hormone receptor status, lymph node involvement, and oncogene expression. Treatment for recurrent breast cancer depends on the initial treatment.
Breast Cancer and Lymphedema
Lymphedema is a common chronic, debilitating condition in which excess fluid called lymph collects in tissues and causes swelling in them. It is common after a mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast cancer surgery and radiation therapy.
Breast Cancer in Young Women
About 5% of cases of breast cancer occur in women under the age of 40 years old. Some risk factors for breast cancer in young women include a personal history of breast cancer or breast disease, family history of breast cancer, prior radiation therapy, and the presence of BRCA1/BRCA2 gene mutations. Breast self-exams, clinical breast exams, and screening mammograms may help detect breast cancer. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and hormone therapy.
Breast Cancer Treatment by Stage
Treatment of breast cancer depends upon the stage of the cancer at the time of diagnosis. Some of the various treatments include: hormone therapy, radiation therapy, surgery, chemotherapy, HER2-targeted therapy, neoadjuvant therapy, and adjuvant therapy.
Breast Cancer Clinical Trials
Breast cancer clinical trials are research programs designed to evaluate new medical treatments, drugs, or devices for the treatment of breast cancer. Clinical trials are designed to test the safety and efficacy of new treatments as well as assess potential side effects. Clinical trials also compare new treatment to existing treatments to determine if it's any better. There are many important questions to ask your doctor before taking part in a breast cancer clinical trial.
Breast Cancer and Coping With Stress
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is stressful. Learning relaxation techniques, exercising, eating well, getting adequate sleep, receiving psychotherapy, and maintaining a positive attitude can help you cope. Creating documents, such as an advance directive, living will, and durable power of attorney will outline your wishes in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions regarding your care.
Estimating Breast Cancer Risk: Questions and Answers
As breast cancer is the most diagnosed non-skin cancer in American women, it is important to know your breast cancer risk. Risk factors include age, age at menarche, age at first live birth, history of breast abnormalities, breast biopsies, race, and history or breast cancer among first-degree relatives.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Prevention & Wellness
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.