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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

  • Linda Green Profile

    Is it unusual to have a variance in tumor measurement between ultrasound and MRI? Picked up MRI report this afternoon and noticed they measured tumor as 1.8 cm vice 1.2 cm. Of course, first thought was oh crap, did it grow that much in two weeks?

    Asked by anonymous

    Patient
    almost 7 years 3 answers
    • Sharon Danielson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2007

      The MRI can pick up much more detail. Some malignant tumors aren't evenly shaped and maybe that would be where the discrepancy is showing up. Never be afraid to call the office that did the MRI and ask to speak to a doctor. It's their job to know the answers to those types of questions.

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 1 Patient

      It is also because of the way that you are positioned in the MRI machine. If you were lying on your stomach for the MRI with your breasts hanging down through the MRI table it is going to change the shape of your breast therefore making the measurements different then when you were lying on your...

      more

      It is also because of the way that you are positioned in the MRI machine. If you were lying on your stomach for the MRI with your breasts hanging down through the MRI table it is going to change the shape of your breast therefore making the measurements different then when you were lying on your back for the ultrasound.

      Comment
  • omid gp Profile

    I'd been diagnosed by invasive ductal carcinoma last year and i'll get my 9th herceptin as the last one because of its hart effect i cant get more i'm too worried about the cancer comes back and some times i become too depressed to do any thing

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Erin Timlin Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2011

      I am also receiving herceptin until the end of January 2013 or so. You know, my oncologist told me that many studies have shown that 6 months or so of herceptin are as effective as 1 year. Since the data isn't entirely conclusive, my protocol is to stay at a year for treatment, BUT just know...

      more

      I am also receiving herceptin until the end of January 2013 or so. You know, my oncologist told me that many studies have shown that 6 months or so of herceptin are as effective as 1 year. Since the data isn't entirely conclusive, my protocol is to stay at a year for treatment, BUT just know that studies have shown that less herceptin is as effective. Rest assured that you've received enough to help you fight it off!! GOOD LUCK!

      Comment
    • Thumb avatar default
      anonymous
      Stage 3A Patient

      I just had surgery for colon cancer and while I was in the hospital I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy from the Herceptin I was getting or breast cancer. My heart is at 30-35%. Cardiologist sys no more. I'm on drugs to strengthen my heart. But I am starting chemo on Friday that will benefit both...

      more

      I just had surgery for colon cancer and while I was in the hospital I was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy from the Herceptin I was getting or breast cancer. My heart is at 30-35%. Cardiologist sys no more. I'm on drugs to strengthen my heart. But I am starting chemo on Friday that will benefit both the colon and breast cancer. Ask your oncologist for an alternative plan.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Will I vomit from radiation therapy?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years 4 answers
    • View all 4 answers
    • Liz B Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      No. Radiation therapy is specific to the area being treated, it will not affect your stomach. You may feel tired, and your skin will feel burned after a few weeks of treatment, but you won't lose your hair or feel sick to you stomach the way that you do from chemo.

      1 comment
    • Laura Zarowny Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I had 30 consecutive radiation treatments for breast cancer and I didn't have problems with vomiting. I did blister though.

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

    Her2 Er - pr-, what is the new procedures and new treatment?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 6 years 1 answer
    • Margaret Balsamo Profile
      anonymous
      Patient

      There are quite a few factors that will determine your treatment. Your oncologist will discuss all of the options with you.

      Comment

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