NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Breast Cancer - Early-Stage
(STAGES I AND II)
, Version 1.2016
HER2 inhibitors are only used for HER2-positive
breast cancer. They are monoclonal antibodies as
. The HER2 inhibitors used
for HER2-positive breast cancer are trastuzumab
and sometimes pertuzumab. Trastuzumab is
sold as Herceptin
, and pertuzumab as Perjeta
Trastuzumab is always used with chemotherapy.
Pertuzumab may be added if the breast cancer is
Figure 4.2 HER2 inhibitors
Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that are made by your body to help fight illness. Monoclonal
antibodies are human-made antibodies that attach to certain proteins on the outside of cancer
cells. HER2 inhibitors are monoclonal antibodies, which are a type of targeted therapy.
Trastuzumab was the first HER2 inhibitor approved by the U.S. FDA in 1998 to treat HER2-positive
breast cancer. Pertuzumab was approved in 2012. They attach to different parts of HER2. Thus,
they stop growth signals from HER2 in different ways. Both of them also mark breast cancer cells
for destruction by your body’s disease-fighting (immune) system.
Chemotherapy and HER2 inhibitors Overview