Brand Names

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

How is It Administered?

This medication is administered by IV, meaning it is infused into the blood through a vein in your arm, chest, or hand. Usually, the infusion takes 30-60 minutes, and is repeated every 3 weeks.

Why am I Taking Pertuzumab?

This drug is used along with trastuzumab (Herceptin®) and docetaxel (Taxotere®) to treat HER2-positive breast cancer that is early-stage, locally advanced, inflammatory, or has spread to other parts of the body (metastatic).

How Does This Drug Work?

Cancers are diseases in which abnormal cells reproduce uncontrollably. Pertuzumab is a type of targeted therapy, not a traditional chemo (chemotherapy) agent. Traditional chemo agents attack cells that are reproducing rapidly. While cancer cells do reproduce rapidly, so do some of the normal cells in your body, such as the lining of your digestive tract.

Pertuzumab is a monoclonal antibody, and it works differently than traditional chemotherapy. It works by targeting and attaching itself to an antigen (HER2) on the surface of the cancer cells. HER2 is a growth factor, so when pertuzumab interferes, the cancer cell dies. This therapy is given along with another type of targeted therapy, called trastuzumab (Herceptin®), because each medication interferes with HER2 in a different way.

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