Trastuzumab, sold under the brand name Herceptin among others, is a monoclonal antibody used to treat breast cancer. Specifically it is used for breast cancer that is HER2 receptor positive. It may be used by itself or together with other chemotherapy medication. Trastuzumab is given by slow injection into a vein and injection just under the skin.
Common side effects include fever, infection, cough, headache, trouble sleeping, and rash. Other severe side effects include heart failure, allergic reactions, and lung disease. Use during pregnancy may harm the baby. Trastuzumab works by binding to the HER2 receptor and slowing down cell duplication.
Trastuzumab was approved for medical use in the United States in 1998. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. The wholesale price in the developing world is between 1,800 and 1,955 USD per 440 mg vial. In the United Kingdom a 150 mg vial costs the NHS 407.00 pounds.