Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine

Other Names

Kadcyla® (There may be other names for this medication.)

How is it Administered?

Kadcyla is infused (slow injection) into a vein (intravenous or IV).

Why is Kadcyla Given?

Kadcyla is given to patients with HER2-positive breast cancer that has spread (metastasized), and who have already been treated with trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and a taxane (paclitaxel or docetaxel).

How Does it Work?

Cancer is a group of diseases in which abnormal cells multiply without control. Traditional chemotherapy agents identify cancer cells by their rapid rate of multiplication– and then attack those cells. Unfortunately, it also attacks normal cells that multiply quickly.

Kadcyla is a type of targeted therapy. Targeted therapy identifies other differences between normal cells and cancer cells, and then uses that difference to attack the cancer cells, sparing normal cells.

The HER2 gene makes a receptor that sits on the surface of the cell and signals the cell to grow and multiply. In some cancers, there is too much HER2 and cells grow uncontrollably.

Kadcyla is a combination of two types of medications.

  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin®), a monoclonal antibody, targets the HER2 receptor on the cancer cells, causing them to die. It may also stimulate your own immune system to attack those cells.
  • Mertansine (DM1), a microtubular inhibitor, enters cancer cells and binds to an internal protein (tubulin), destroying the cell.

Continue Reading Detailed Drug Profile