Why does Herceptin work on some breast cancer tumors but not others?

How does the drug Herceptin work and why does it work on some breast cancer tumors but not others?

Breast cancer cells that overexpress the HER2 gene are said to be HER2-positive. Herceptin works by attaching itself to the HER2 receptors on the surface of breast cancer cells and blocking them from receiving growth signals. By blocking the signals, Herceptin can slow or stop the growth of the breast cancer.

Why does Herceptin sometimes not work?

If Cancer Stops Responding to Herceptin, It May Have Switched From HER2-Positive to HER2-Negative. Herceptin (chemical name: trastuzumab) is a targeted therapy used to treat HER2-positive breast cancers. HER2-positive cancers have too many copies of the HER2/neu gene that makes too much of the HER2 protein.

Would you predict that trastuzumab is effective on all breast cancer patients why or why not?

Trastuzumab is a model of targeted therapy that offers significant clinical benefit selectively in patients with HER2-overexpressing cancers; however, trastuzumab alone or in combination with cytotoxic therapy yields no response for many patients, and indeed, the majority of patients with advanced breast cancer develop …

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How are HER2 tumors different from other breast cancers?

HER2 is a growth-promoting protein on the outside of all breast cells. Breast cancer cells with higher than normal levels of HER2 are called HER2-positive. These cancers tend to grow and spread faster than other breast cancers, but are much more likely to respond to treatment with drugs that target the HER2 protein.

What is the longest someone has lived with Stage 4 breast cancer?

Stage 4: Kim Green Has Lived With Metastatic Breast Cancer For Past 19 Years. Kim Green defies the odds for those living with incurable metastatic breast cancer. Her mother died of metastatic breast cancer at 37, but Green has been living with it for 19 years.

Why is Herceptin only given for a year?

Since 2005, the standard of care has been to give Herceptin for 1 year after surgery and chemotherapy to reduce the risk of recurrence (the cancer coming back) of early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. Like most cancer treatments, Herceptin can cause side effects, including possible heart damage.

What is the success rate of Herceptin?

At 10 years after treatment, overall survival was better in women who were treated with Herceptin: 84% of the women who received chemotherapy plus Herceptin were alive. 75.2% of the women who received chemotherapy alone were alive.

Does Herceptin weaken your immune system?

Does trastuzumab (Herceptin) affect the immune system? Having trastuzumab (Herceptin) could mean you’re more at risk of getting coronavirus or becoming very ill if you get it. The risk is likely to be higher if you’re having it with chemotherapy.

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Will hair grow back while on Herceptin?

Your hair may thin but you’re unlikely to lose all your hair. This usually starts after your first or second cycle of treatment. It is almost always temporary and your hair will grow back when you finish your treatment.

Is HER2-positive breast cancer a death sentence?

“HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer is currently considered an incurable disease, with the majority of patients ultimately relapsing within five years.

Is it better to be HER2-positive or negative?

Is HER2-positive breast cancer good or bad? HER2-positive cancer tends to be poorer in terms of prognosis than HER2-negative cancer because: It grows faster. It is more likely to spread to the lymph nodes fast.

Can HER2-positive cancer be cured?

HER2-positive breast cancer is highly curable because of the availability of these HER2-targeted therapies, so we treat patients fairly aggressively upfront to reduce the risk of them experiencing a stage IV recurrence.