What is Herceptin (Her2)?
Approved almost a decade ago, herceptin is a type of cancer therapy that attaches to Her2-positive cancer cells. Her2 stands for human epidermal growth factor development receptor 2, a protein that increases the growth of tumor cells. In comparison, chemotherapy targets all cells, including healthy cells, leading to increased risks and side effects. Women with Her2-positive breast cancer have a lower chance of responding to certain types of cancer treatments, as well as a higher chance of recurrence. Studies have shown that approximately 25% of breast cancer patients have tumors that are Her2-positive. This drug treatment is given to 20% of all breast cancer patients in the United States. It is crucial to establish your cancers Her2-positive status, as Her2-positive tumors are more likely to develop and spread at a faster rate compared with those that are not Her2-positive. Her2-positive tumors also require different types of treatment.