Herceptin Drug Class
Herceptin® (trastuzumab) is a drug used to treat breast cancer and stomach cancer in adults. It is given intravenously (by IV) every seven days or every three weeks, depending on your dosing regimen.
Herceptin is part of a drug class known as monoclonal antibodies and is designed to bind to a specific protein (called HER2) on the outside of certain cancer cells. When Herceptin binds to these proteins, it prevents the cancer cells from growing and multiplying. This medication can also cause the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.
Because it is not a type of chemotherapy, Herceptin is not as "toxic" as chemotherapy and has less of an effect on healthy, noncancerous cells. Herceptin is only used to treat cancers that have a high concentration of HER2 receptors.
(To learn more about how this drug is classified, click Herceptin Uses. This article also describes specific uses of the medication and provides more details on the symptoms and treatment of breast cancer.)