A recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody directed against the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). After binding to HER2 on the tumor cell surface, trastuzumab induces an antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity against tumor cells that overexpress HER2. HER2 is overexpressed by many adenocarcinomas, particularly breast adenocarcinomas.
Is a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes the HER-2/neu receptor that is overexpressed in 20% of breast cancers.
Used with chemotherapy, it improves the response rate in women with breast cancer whose cells are c-erbB2-positive. Patients treated with trastuzumab have an increased risk of congestive cardiac failure, particularly if they have also received anthracyclines.
Woodruff R. Palliative medicine evidence-based symptomatic and supportive care for patients with advanced cancer. Fourth edition. Oxford University Press, 2004. (p. 444)