A 75 year old woman with a history of smoking and Type 2 DM is unfortunately diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer which is Her2 positive. She is eager to start the recommend therapy but is worried about the side effects. Her breast cancer oncologist wants to initiate neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus trastuzumab (Herceptin).
What side effects should she be concerned about particularly from the trastuzumab?
- A) Hepatotoxicity
- B) Cardiotoxicity
- C) Nephrotoxicity
- D) Neurotoxicity
- E) Pulmonary toxicity
Patient has HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer which requires neoadjuvant chemotherapy along with trastuzumab. HER2 plays an important role in the signaling network that drives cell proliferation. Herceptin is believed to block intracellular signaling pathways by attenuating the signal transduction downstream. One of its main side effects is cardiotoxicity. During Herceptin treatment, toxicity can cause the heart to become too weak to pump blood. All patients on Herceptin undergo regular cardiac tests, such as an echocardiogram, to look for possible heart damage.
Dr. Raj Dasgupta