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Drugs of interest to pathologists

Drugs related to surgical pathology


Author: Nat Pernick, M.D., PathologyOutlines.com, Inc. (see Reviewers/Authors page)
Revised: 3 May 2011, last major update April 2011
Copyright: (c) 2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● A monoclonal antibody that interferes with the HER2/neu receptor

Trade name

● Herceptin®

Clinical information

Approved by US Food and Drug Administration for:
● Adjuvant therapy for HER2 overexpressing node positive or node negative (ER/PR negative or with one high risk feature) breast carcinoma
● Metastatic breast carcinoma with HER2 overexpression
● Metastatic gastric carcinoma: in combination with cisplatin and capecitabine or 5-fluorouracil, for the treatment of patients with HER2 overexpressing metastatic gastric or gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma, who have not received prior treatment for metastatic disease

● Costs ~$70,000 for a course of treatment

Use for pathologists

● HER2 testing is obtained on breast carcinoma specimens because patients with HER2 overexpression are candidates for Trastuzumab therapy
● HEr2 testing is usually performed using a combination of immunohistochemistry and FISH (see HER2)

End of Drugs > Drugs related to surgical pathology > Trastuzumab

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