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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

  • Mary Webb Profile

    Is a large mass the same as a tumor?

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 years Answer
  • Susan Denevan Profile

    Has anyone had adverse reactions from receiving herceptin alone?

    Asked by anonymous

    Stage 2A Patient
    over 6 years 2 answers
    • Sue Rice Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 4 Patient

      I have dizziness, tiredness, runny nose that suddenly dries up and hurts, brittle nails I have also put on weight and the fatigue is frustrating you want to exercise but it is just so hard! But it has kept me stable for 3 years so far so its worth it.

      Comment
    • holly jones Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I am actually going for a ct scan tomorrow due to some dizziness/headache on & off,hoping its nothing! I also have a runny nose for a couple weeks after the treatment and a cough/sore throat the night of treatment. I finished with chemo in November and hoping my last herceptin will be in June!

      Comment
  • Thumb avatar default

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

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    over 7 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
  • Pam Hervatic Profile

    I finished with HERCEPTIN in Nov. 2011. I am having extreme pain in my knees ace legs, such that it wakes me up at night and walking is painful. any one else have this experience? I am also on tamoxifin . my oncologist seems baffled. please help!

    Asked by anonymous

    Learning About Breast Cancer
    almost 7 years 7 answers
    • View all 7 answers
    • Pam Hervatic Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Well...I had arthroscopic surgery on one of my knees last friday...they found a torn meniscus and arthritis. I will have the other knee done soon. I am still confused. Lordy Lordy!

      Comment
    • Pam Hervatic Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      Thank you Donna and Lysa I started taking 4000 units of vit d last week and I stopped the tamoxifin this past. Sunday..now I wait and see. It's so good to have somebody to talk to..god bless!

      Comment

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