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Topic: Questions regarding her2 targeted therapy

Forum: Stage III Breast Cancer — You are not alone. Meet others who have Stage III breast cancer.

Posted on: Jun 21, 2021 11:59AM

Lucyboots16 wrote:

Hi, there

I've recently completed 3 cycles of FEC therapy for stage 3 breast cancer and I start Her2 targeted therapy next week...I'm wondering if this treatment is more aggressive than FEC therapy...I was blessed that I virtually no side effects from FEC bit I understand the next round may be completely different.

Thank you

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Jun 21, 2021 12:59PM ElaineTherese wrote:

Do you mean that you are doing Herceptin? Please clarify. For me, Herceptin was easy. But, for some people, it can decrease heart function, so your heart needs to be monitored during treatment.

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/23/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/17/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/12/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/25/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/9/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 21, 2021 01:02PM Lucyboots16 wrote:

Hi - yes Herceptin with Docataxel.

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Jun 21, 2021 03:10PM Melbo wrote:

herceptin is targeted antibody therapy for Her2+ cancer. Chemo is considered more “aggressive” because it targets any fast growing cells in your body — cancer, hair follicles, anything fast growing. Herceptin is targeted antibody medication that prevents the HER2 cells from going crazy. Most people have no side effects or only very mild side effects from the herceptin, although it can cause heart problems, which is why most people in herceptin get echocardiograms to make sure your heart still works okay.

Diagnosed right before my 42nd birthday. One husband, two dogs, one cat and no kids. Dx 7/16/2020, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/7 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ Targeted Therapy 8/7/2020 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Targeted Therapy 8/7/2020 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Chemotherapy 8/7/2020 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 12/20/2020 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Radiation Therapy 1/31/2021 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 21, 2021 03:33PM ElaineTherese wrote:

Taxotere (docetaxel) is a strong chemo agent and, yes, you will probably get some side effects from it. Typical side effects include gastrointestinal issues (e.g., diarrhea), hair loss, and fatigue. Some women "cold cap" during Taxotere to save their hair, though that can be expensive. I have no personal experience with Taxotere as I did its gentler cousin, Taxol.

DX IDC June 28, 2014, 5 cm., 1 node tested positive (fine needle biopsy); 0/20 after neoadjuvant chemo + ALND; Grade 3; ER+ PR+ HER2+ Neoadjuvant chemotherapy starting 7/23/14 ACX 4, Taxol X 12, Perjeta X 4; Herceptin: one year Chemotherapy 7/23/2014 AC Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Targeted Therapy 9/17/2014 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 9/17/2014 Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 1/12/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary Hormonal Therapy 2/25/2015 Aromasin (exemestane), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy 3/9/2015 Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jun 21, 2021 03:57PM SpecialK wrote:

I would assume that because the OP has already done FEC (assume you are not in the US) the hair loss has already happened unless there was cold capping successfully done. FEC is basically the equivalent of the AC part of AC-T here. It sounds like the regimen you are using is closer to TAC, which is indeed a tough regimen and not used particularly often, as most here have Taxol rather than Taxotere with their Herceptin and/or Perjeta when targeted therapy is included is in a regimen with AC. That said, there is a lot of variation in how people cope with side effects of Taxotere. I would advise icing of hands and feet to help prevent neuropathy and loss of fingernails and toenails. There are frozen gloves and booties, but I used bags of frozen peas and that worked for me. As mentioned above Herceptin can cause some effect on the left ventrical ejection fraction (LVEF) so you are usually given an echocardiogram or MUGA scan to assess a baseline prior to starting. Did you have either before starting chemo due to the Epirubucin component? For those who see a reduced LVEF, it is usually temporary and reversible but your oncologist will monitor throughout your time on Herceptin if this is the standard of care where you are located. I did experience some diarrhea but it was not severe, I lost my sense of taste for the most part, I did experience some neuropathy despite the icing but it was relatively mild and did resolve with a few months after finishing Taxotere, but while still on Herceptin. I had some involuntary eye tearing and a runny nose, and some dry skin. I found using a thick moisturizer and cotton socks and gloves at night to be helpful. Once I had finished the chemo portion and was on to Herceptin alone the majority of my side effects resolved and I just had the runny nose and toward the end of the year a consistent mild headache. When I had the first Herceptin only infusion, which was run in 30 minutes versus the 90 minute infusion I had with chemo, I did have an issue with bone and joint pain. While this can sometimes happen with taxane chemotherapy, I did not have that. I requested the infusion be slowed back to 90 minutes and the problem was solved. Good luck, wishing you the best!

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 16 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 2013-2018. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Jun 22, 2021 11:04AM Lucyboots16 wrote:

Thank you all so much for the info - very helpful and very much appreciated!! It's all a bit overwhelming and knowledge is a powerful thing :)

Thank you again

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