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Using Herceptin for Stomach Cancer

Herceptin is also approved for treating metastatic gastric adenocarcinoma (stomach cancer), including gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma for cancers that overexpress HER2. Gastric adenocarcinoma is the most common of the stomach cancer types.
When stomach cancer spreads from its site of origin to another part of the body, the new tumor will have the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the original tumor. For example, if stomach cancer spreads to the liver, the cancer cells in the liver are actually stomach cancer cells -- not liver cancer cells. Therefore, it will be treated as stomach cancer. This new tumor is known as "distant" or metastatic disease.
There are several different types of treatment for stomach cancer. Options vary based on:
  • The size and location of the tumor
  • The stage of the disease (see Stomach Cancer Stage)
  • The person's general health.
In general, options for treating stomach cancer can include:
  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Biological therapy, such as Herceptin.
Herceptin is approved to treat stomach cancer only when used in combination with chemotherapy. Specifically, it is approved to be used in combination with cisplatin (Platinol®) and either capecitabine (Xeloda®) or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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