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Treatment

 
Treatment

Chapter: 6 - Treatment

Subchapter: 10 - Targeted Therapy

In addition to systemic chemotherapy and hormone therapy, there are newer, more effective treatments that can attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells. Currently, these targeted methods are commonly used in combination with traditional chemotherapy. However, targeted drugs often have less severe side effects than standard chemotherapy drugs.

Monoclonal Antibodies
One type of targeted therapy currently being studied is monoclonal antibodies. These laboratory-manufactured proteins bind with certain cancers.

Herceptin or Trastuzumab
Monoclonal antibody drugs such as Herceptin (also known as trastuzumab) and Lapatinib target HER2-positive tumors. If cancer cells are positive for the HER2/neu receptors, that means there is an overabundance of receptors on the cancer cell for the growth-stimulating HER2 protein.

The tumor acts almost like a magnet for growth hormones, and when the tumor cells connect with growth hormone cells, the cancer can quickly grow and multiply. Herceptin helps shrink these HER2-positive tumors by finding the cells, binding with them, and blocking the action of the receptor.

Bevacizumab
Another targeted therapy, Bevacizumab, prevents tumors from making new blood vessels that could feed the tumor, essentially cutting off the cancer cells from all nutrients.

As with all medical treatments, if you experience unusual changes in your health during targeted therapy, notify your doctor immediately.

Related Questions

  • John Johnston Profile
  • Mimi Carroll Profile

    How many doses is a year worth of Herceptin? If you had to take a break and interrupted treatment did you have to start year over? Did you have weekly or 21 day dose?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I got my herceptin at first with the chemo every three weeks for 5 treatments n then every three months for another 7 a total of one year. I was not given an option to interrupt treatment unless of course it affected my heart.

      Comment
    • Isabel Souchet Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2010

      I meant every THREE WEEKS, not months

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Has anyone ever experienced atrial fibrulation as a residual effect of chemo? I took herceptin, taxotere and carboplatin.

    Asked by anonymous

    Survivor since 2011
    about 8 years 2 answers
    • Laura Cornwell Profile
      anonymous
      Industry Provider

      There is no evidence that taxotere or carbaplatin have any adverse effects on the heart. Herceptin is known to rarely cause some heart changes, but not specifically atrial fibrillation.

      Atrial fibrillation is actually very common with age. Most people get it for reasons related to high blood...

      more

      There is no evidence that taxotere or carbaplatin have any adverse effects on the heart. Herceptin is known to rarely cause some heart changes, but not specifically atrial fibrillation.

      Atrial fibrillation is actually very common with age. Most people get it for reasons related to high blood pressure, valve disease, coronary artery disease, lung disease, alcohol use or thyroid problems. If one of those were to blame, you and your doctor would most likely already know that you had the risk factor. But up to 1-3 out of every 10 people with atrial fibrillation had no risk factor for Afib.

      Be optimistic! There are lots of options for atrial fibrillation treatment and in many patients it can be fixed.

      1 comment
    • Kathy Firth Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      These are the same drugs I have taken and am still taking Herceptin and have so far not experienced any problems with my heart. My oncologist sends me every three months for an echo to keep a close watch for any possible damage.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    How can you tell a tumor from hard tissue from treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 9 years 2 answers
    • Daphne Beitman Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Get to know your breasts by doing monthly self exams and note/keep track of any abnormalities you believe you feel. A tumor will grow, normal dense tissue will not. When in doubt have your doctor schedule a mammogram, especially if you're under 40 years old with a family history of the disease....

      more

      Get to know your breasts by doing monthly self exams and note/keep track of any abnormalities you believe you feel. A tumor will grow, normal dense tissue will not. When in doubt have your doctor schedule a mammogram, especially if you're under 40 years old with a family history of the disease. If you you have no family history have a yearly mammogram beginning at 40.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I want to use this medium to share my testimony to the public, hopefully to safe life also, Am Brandi Harri, I was diagnosed of Breast Cancer Three years ago, when i had my last baby, my world came crashing down when my Doctor told me that nothing could be done to save me after fighting this...

      more

      I want to use this medium to share my testimony to the public, hopefully to safe life also, Am Brandi Harri, I was diagnosed of Breast Cancer Three years ago, when i had my last baby, my world came crashing down when my Doctor told me that nothing could be done to save me after fighting this deadly disease with Chemo And Radiation for Two Years but i refused to sit back and wait until the day it finally decides to take my life so i went in search of help which i found in the hands of Priest Babaka through his Cannabis oil/Herb Soap Supplement. God use him to bring life back to me and gave my life a meaning again,am alive now all because of him, sir God will continue to Bless you and your family for this good work and word of truth..If you have any issue of CANCER don't hestitate to contact him with this email : babaka.wolf@gmail.com

      Comment

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