Expand your knowledge of HER2+ early breast cancer (EBC) treatment

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As you read your results, look out for underlined words that you can click on to see the term defined.

At least one of the following is true:

  • I am seeking information about HER2-positive early breast cancer for myself or someone else
  • I do not know if the cancer is HER2-positive, node positive, inflammatory, or the tumor size
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Diagnosis

After confirming a breast cancer diagnosis and before recommending a treatment plan, a doctor will review certain characteristics of the cancer. There are certain traits that are unique to each person, including, but not limited to, HER2 status, nodal status, tumor size, patient characteristics, and preferences. For people with HER2-positive early breast cancer (HER2+ EBC), doctors often recommend neoadjuvant treatment. In some cases, doctors may recommend starting with surgery followed by adjuvant treatment.

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Neoadjuvant treatment

Before surgery, neoadjuvant treatment is given to shrink the tumor as much as possible. There are different neoadjuvant options that your doctor may consider. Below, you will find information for two HER2-targeted treatments. The first option is an infusion and the other is an injection.

Look below to learn a bit more about two HER2-targeted neoadjuvant options.

Who may be eligible for PERJETA or PHESGO?

The treatments below are for people with HER2+, locally advanced, inflammatory, or early‑stage breast cancer (tumor is greater than 2 cm in diameter or node positive) prior to surgery.

Infusion bag iconPERJETA is given with another HER2-targeted treatment called Herceptin® (trastuzumab) and chemotherapy. PERJETA and Herceptin are intravenous (IV) infusions that are given back-to-back in about 1-2.5 hours.*

Injection icon

Injection iconPHESGO brings together PERJETA and Herceptin in a single injection just under the skin. It is given with chemotherapy. The first dose of PHESGO takes about 8 minutes. After that, receiving PHESGO takes about 5 minutes.*

What are the most serious side effects of PERJETA and PHESGO?
  • PERJETA and PHESGO may cause heart problems, including those without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure).
  • Receiving PERJETA or PHESGO during pregnancy can result in the death of an unborn baby and birth defects.
  • PHESGO may cause serious lung problems.

Please see full Prescribing Information for additional Important Safety Information, including most serious side effects, for PERJETA and PHESGO.

*This does not account for observation time and other aspects of treatment. Actual clinic time may vary.

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Remember, this site is for educational purposes only. Your primary sources of information should always be your doctor and the professionals who make up your healthcare team. Only they can give you medical advice about HER2+ early breast cancer and treatment.

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Surgery

The goal of surgery is to remove as many cancer cells as possible. A doctor will then carefully examine the tissue removed to determine the next phase of treatment. If cancerous cells are detected, the oncologist will likely recommend an adjuvant treatment to remove the residual disease. If the doctor cannot find any cancer cells remaining, the patient has experienced what is known as a pCR. In such cases, adjuvant treatment may be recommended to lower the chance of the cancer returning.

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Adjuvant treatment

Treatment after surgery, or adjuvant treatment, is given with the goals of

  1. killing remaining cancer cells
  2. lowering the chance of the cancer returning

After surgery, a doctor may recommend adjuvant treatment to kill remaining cancer cells and to keep the person receiving treatment cancer-free for as long as possible. That means a doctor may recommend adjuvant treatment even if the surgery resulted in a pCR.

Before recommending an adjuvant therapy, one of the considerations a doctor will make is whether the patient received neoadjuvant treatment before surgery.

  • If the answer is yes, the patient will continue receiving treatment after surgery. Such patients usually complete their chemotherapy regimen before continuing to adjuvant treatment.
  • If the answer is no, a doctor may recommend starting treatment for the first time after surgery. This is still known as adjuvant treatment. Starting HER2-targeted treatment in the adjuvant setting includes chemotherapy, as part of a complete treatment regimen. The dosing schedule and number of cycles of the chemotherapy will depend on which regimen the doctor recommends.

A doctor may also recommend adjuvant treatment to someone who had surgery without first receiving neoadjuvant treatment. People who start treatment for the first time after surgery will also receive chemotherapy, but the dosing schedule and number of cycles depend on which chemotherapy regimen the doctor recommends.

Look below to learn about three different HER2-targeted options for adjuvant treatment.

Who may be eligible for PERJETA or PHESGO?

People with HER2+ early breast cancer that has a high likelihood of coming back.

Infusion bag iconPERJETA is used with Herceptin® (trastuzumab) and chemotherapy after surgery. PERJETA and Herceptin are intravaneous (IV) infusions that are given back to back in about 1-2.5 hours.*

Patients may start this HER2-targeted treatment after surgery or continue treatment if they received PERJETA + Herceptin and chemotherapy before surgery and have a pCR after surgery.

Injection iconPHESGO brings together PERJETA and Herceptin in a single injection just under the skin. It is given with chemotherapy. The first dose of PHESGO takes about 8 minutes. After that, receiving PHESGO takes about 5 minutes.*

Patients may start this treatment after surgery or continue PHESGO if they received it before surgery, even if they have a pCR after surgery.

If you received PERJETA + Herceptin before surgery, your doctor may be able to switch you to PHESGO after surgery.

What are the most serious side effects of PERJETA and PHESGO?
  • PERJETA and PHESGO may cause heart problems, including those without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure).
  • Receiving PERJETA or PHESGO during pregnancy can result in the death of an unborn baby and birth defects.
  • PHESGO may cause serious lung problems.

Please see full Prescribing Information for additional Important Safety Information, including most serious side effects, for PERJETA and PHESGO.

Who may be eligible for KADCYLA?

People with HER2+ early breast cancer who had treatment before surgery (including a taxane and trastuzumab) and there is cancer remaining in the tissue removed during surgery.

KADCYLA is used after surgery and is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion for 30-90 minutes.*

What are the most serious side effects of KADCYLA?
  • KADCYLA can cause severe liver problems.
  • KADCYLA may cause heart problems, including those without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure).
  • Receiving KADCYLA during pregnancy can result in the death of an unborn baby and birth defects.

Please see full Prescribing Information for additional Important Safety Information, including most serious side effects, for KADCYLA.

*This does not account for observation time and other aspects of treatment. Actual clinic time may vary.

Keep in mind, the options here are just some of the treatments that you may be eligible for. This list does not include all possible treatments, and your doctor may recommend something different. Be sure to discuss all your options with your doctor and remember, only your doctor and healthcare team can give you medical advice about your disease and treatment.

Dictionary icon

As you read your results, look out for underlined words that you can click on to see the term defined.

At least one of the following is true:

  • I am seeking information about HER2-positive early breast cancer for myself or someone else
  • I do not know if the cancer is HER2-positive, node positive, inflammatory, or the tumor size

What does PERJETA treat?

PERJETA® (pertuzumab) is a prescription medicine approved for use in combination with Herceptin® (trastuzumab) and chemotherapy for:

  • use prior to surgery (neoadjuvant treatment) in people with HER2-positive, locally advanced, inflammatory, or early stage breast cancer (tumor is greater than 2 cm in diameter or node-positive). PERJETA should be used as part of a complete treatment regimen for early breast cancer. 

  • use after surgery (adjuvant treatment) in people with HER2-positive early breast cancer that has a high likelihood of coming back.

What should I know about side effects with PERJETA?

  • Not all people have serious side effects; however, side effects with PERJETA therapy are common. It is important to know what side effects may happen and what symptoms you should watch for

  • Your doctor may stop treatment if serious side effects happen. Be sure to contact your healthcare team right away if you have questions or are worried about any side effects

What are the most serious side effects of PERJETA?

PERJETA may cause heart problems, including those without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure).

  • Your doctor may run tests to monitor your heart function before and during treatment with PERJETA

  • Based on test results, your doctor may hold or discontinue treatment with PERJETA

  • Contact a health care professional immediately for any of the following: new onset or worsening shortness of breath, cough, swelling of the ankles/legs, swelling of the face, palpitations, weight gain of more than 5 pounds in 24 hours, dizziness or loss of consciousness

Receiving PERJETA during pregnancy can result in the death of an unborn baby and birth defects.

  • Birth control should be used while receiving PERJETA and for 7 months after your last dose of PERJETA. If you are a mother who is breastfeeding, you should talk with your doctor about either stopping breastfeeding or stopping PERJETA

  • If you think you may be pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately

  • If you are exposed to PERJETA during pregnancy, or become pregnant while receiving PERJETA or within 7 months following the last dose of PERJETA in combination with Herceptin, you are encouraged to report PERJETA exposure to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555

What are other possible serious side effects?

  • PERJETA should not be used in patients who are allergic to pertuzumab or to any of the ingredients in PERJETA

  • Infusion-related reactions: PERJETA is a medicine that is delivered into a vein through a needle. PERJETA has been associated with infusion-related reactions, some fatal. The most common infusion-related reactions when receiving PERJETA, Herceptin, and docetaxel were feeling tired, abnormal or altered taste, allergic reactions, muscle pain, and vomiting. The most common infusion-related reactions when receiving PERJETA alone were fever, chills, feeling tired, headache, weakness, allergic reactions, and vomiting

  • Severe allergic reactions: Some people receiving PERJETA may have severe allergic reactions, called hypersensitivity reactions or anaphylaxis, which may happen quickly and may affect many areas of the body. Severe allergic reactions, some fatal, have been observed in patients treated with PERJETA

What are the most common side effects?

The most common side effects of PERJETA when given with Herceptin and chemotherapy as part of an early breast cancer regimen before surgery are:

  • Constipation

  • Damage to the nerves (numbness, tingling, pain in hands/feet) 

  • Diarrhea

  • Feeling tired 

  • Hair loss 

  • Headache

  • Low levels of red blood cells 

  • Low levels of white blood cells with or without fever 

  • Low platelet count 

  • Mouth blisters or sores 

  • Nausea

  • Pain in the muscles 

  • Vomiting

  • Weakness 

Side effects may vary based on chemotherapy regimen.

The most common side effects of PERJETA when given with Herceptin and chemotherapy as part of an early breast cancer regimen after surgery are:

  • Diarrhea 

  • Nausea 

  • Hair Loss 

  • Feeling tired 

  • Damage to the nerves (numbness, tingling, pain in hands/feet)

  • Vomiting

You are encouraged to report side effects to Genentech and the FDA. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Talk to a healthcare professional for more information about the benefits and risks of PERJETA.

Please see full Prescribing Information for additional Important Safety Information, including most serious side effects.

If you cannot afford your medication, visit genentech-access.com/patient for financial assistance information.

What does PHESGO treat?

PHESGO® (pertuzumab, trastuzumab, and hyaluronidase-zzxf) is a prescription medicine approved for use in combination with chemotherapy for:

  • use prior to surgery (neoadjuvant treatment) in adults with HER2-positive, locally advanced, inflammatory, or early stage breast cancer (tumor is greater than 2 cm in diameter or node-positive). PHESGO should be used as part of a complete treatment regimen for early breast cancer. 

  • use after surgery (adjuvant treatment) in adults with HER2-positive early breast cancer that has a high likelihood of coming back.

What should I know about side effects with PHESGO?

  • Not all people have serious side effects; however, side effects with PHESGO therapy are common. It is important to know what side effects may happen and what symptoms you should watch for

  • Your doctor may stop treatment if serious side effects happen. Be sure to contact your healthcare team right away if you have questions or are worried about any side effects

What are the most serious side effects of PHESGO?

PHESGO may cause heart problems, including those without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure).

  • The risk for and seriousness of these heart problems are highest in people who received both PHESGO and a certain type of chemotherapy (anthracycline)

  • Your doctor will check for signs of heart problems before, during, and after treatment with PHESGO. Based on test results, your doctor may hold or discontinue treatment with PHESGO

  • Contact a healthcare professional immediately for any of the following: new onset or worsening shortness of breath, cough, swelling of the ankles/legs, swelling of the face, palpitations, weight gain of more than 5 pounds in 24 hours, dizziness or loss of consciousness

Receiving PHESGO during pregnancy can result in the death of an unborn baby and birth defects.

  • Birth control should be used while receiving PHESGO and for 7 months after your last dose of PHESGO. If you are a mother who is breastfeeding, you should talk with your doctor about either stopping breastfeeding or stopping PHESGO

  • If you think you may be pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately

  • If you are exposed to PHESGO during pregnancy, or become pregnant while receiving PHESGO or within 7 months following the last dose of PHESGO, you are encouraged to report PHESGO exposure to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555

PHESGO may cause serious lung problems.

  • Your doctor may check for signs of lung problems including:

    • Severe shortness of breath

    • Fluid in or around the lungs

    • Weakening of the valve between the heart and the lungs

    • Not enough oxygen in the body

    • Swelling of the lungs

    • Scarring of the lungs

Who should not receive PHESGO?

  • PHESGO should not be used in patients who are allergic to pertuzumab, trastuzumab, hyaluronidase, or to any of the ingredients in PHESGO

What are other possible serious side effects?

  • PHESGO may worsen low white blood cell counts caused by chemotherapy: Low white blood cell counts can be life threatening and were seen more often in patients receiving Herceptin® (trastuzumab) plus chemotherapy than in patients receiving chemotherapy alone. Your doctor may check for signs of low white blood cell counts when he or she examines you 
  • PHESGO may cause administration-related reactions: PHESGO is given as an injection. The active ingredients in PHESGO have been associated with severe administration reactions, including hypersensitivity or anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. Talk to your doctor if you feel any symptoms. The most common symptoms include dizziness, nausea, chills, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, hives, swelling of the skin, breathing problems, or chest pain

What are the most common side effects?

The most common side effects of PHESGO when given with chemotherapy as part of an early breast cancer regimen are:

  • Hair Loss

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

  • Low levels of red blood cells

  • Weakness

You are encouraged to report side effects to Genentech and the FDA. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or www.fda.gov/medwatch. You may also report side effects to Genentech at 1-888-835-2555.

Talk to a healthcare professional for more information about the benefits and risks of PHESGO.

Please see full Prescribing Information for additional Important Safety Information, including most serious side effects.

If you cannot afford your medication, visit genentech-access.com/patient for financial assistance information.

Who is KADCYLA for?

Early Breast Cancer

KADCYLA is a prescription medicine used as an adjuvant (after surgery) treatment for HER2-positive early breast cancer when the patient has taken neoadjuvant (before surgery) treatment including a taxane and trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and there is cancer remaining in the tissue removed during surgery.

Patients are selected for therapy based on an FDA-approved test for KADCYLA.

What is the most Important Safety Information I should know about KADCYLA?

Liver problems

  • KADCYLA may cause severe liver problems that can be life-threatening. Symptoms of liver problems may include vomiting, nausea, eating disorder (anorexia), yellowing of the skin (jaundice), stomach pain, dark urine, or itching

Heart problems

  • KADCYLA may cause heart problems, including those without symptoms (such as reduced heart function) and those with symptoms (such as congestive heart failure). Symptoms may include swelling of the ankles or legs, shortness of breath, cough, rapid weight gain of more than 5 pounds in 24 hours, dizziness or loss of consciousness, or irregular heartbeat

Pregnancy

  • Receiving KADCYLA during pregnancy can result in the death of an unborn baby and birth defects. Birth control should be used while you receive KADCYLA and for 7 months after your last dose of KADCYLA

  • If you think you may be pregnant, you should contact your healthcare provider immediately

  • If you are exposed to KADCYLA during pregnancy or if you become pregnant within 7 months following your last dose of KADCYLA, you are encouraged to report KADCYLA exposure to Genentech by calling 1-888-835-2555

  • If you are a male patient with a female partner that could become pregnant, birth control should be used during treatment and for 4 months following your last dose of KADCYLA

  • You should not breastfeed during treatment and for 7 months after the last dose of KADCYLA

Contact your doctor right away if you experience symptoms associated with these side effects.

What are the additional possible serious side effects of KADCYLA?

Lung problems

  • KADCYLA may cause lung problems, including inflammation of the lung tissue, which can be life-threatening. Signs of lung problems may include trouble breathing, cough, tiredness, and fluid in the lungs

Infusion-related reactions

  • Symptoms of an infusion-related reaction may include one or more of the following: the skin getting hot or red (flushing), chills, fever, trouble breathing, low blood pressure, wheezing, tightening of the muscles in the chest around the airways, or a fast heartbeat. Your doctor will monitor you for infusion-related reactions

Serious bleeding

  • KADCYLA can cause life-threatening bleeding. Taking KADCYLA with other medications used to thin your blood (antiplatelet) or prevent blood clots (anticoagulation) can increase your risk of bleeding. Your doctor should provide additional monitoring if you are taking one of these other drugs while on KADCYLA. Even when blood thinners are not also being taken, life-threatening bleeding may occur with KADCYLA

Low platelet count

  • Low platelet count may happen during treatment with KADCYLA. Platelets help your blood to clot. Signs of low platelets may include easy bruising, bleeding, and prolonged bleeding from cuts. In mild cases there may not be any symptoms

Nerve damage

  • Symptoms may include numbness and tingling, burning or sharp pain, sensitivity to touch, lack of coordination, muscle weakness, or loss of muscle function. Your doctor will monitor you for symptoms of nerve damage

Skin reactions around the infusion site

  • KADCYLA may leak from the vein or needle and cause reactions such as redness, tenderness, skin irritation, or pain or swelling at the infusion site. If this happens, it is more likely to happen within 24 hours of the infusion

What are the most common side effects of KADCYLA?

The most common side effects in people taking KADCYLA for early breast cancer are:

  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Liver problems
  • Pain that affects the bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons
  • Bleeding
  • Low platelet count
  • Headache
  • Weakness, numbness, and pain in the hands and feet
  • Joint pain

You are encouraged to report side effects to Genentech and the FDA. You may contact Genentech by calling 1-888-835-2555. You may contact the FDA by visiting www.fda.gov/medwatch or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.

Talk to a healthcare professional for more information about the benefits and risks of KADCYLA.

Please see full Prescribing Information for additional Important Safety Information, including most serious side effects.

If you cannot afford your medication, visit genentech-access.com/patient for financial assistance information.