What does perjeta do?

Are you tired of struggling with cancer? Are you intimidated by the medical jargon and unable to understand what your doctor is telling you about perjeta? Fear not! In this article, we will be discussing everything about perjeta – from how it works to its potential side effects. Let’s dive in!

The Basics

Perjeta (also known as Pertuzumab) is an FDA-approved humanized monoclonal antibody that belongs to a group of drugs called HER2-targeted therapies. These are medications that selectively attack HER2-positive cancer cells without damaging normal cells.

HER2 stands for Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2, which is a protein found on the outside of certain types of breast cancer cells. When there is too much HER2 present, these cells can grow and divide uncontrollably – leading to aggressive tumor growth.

Pro Tip: If someone tries to impress you with their knowledge about antibodies, start sneezing profusely until they back off.

The primary use of Perjeta as an anti-cancer drug involves its ability to bind specifically to the extracellular domain of HER2 receptors on cell surfaces. With this inhibitory action in place, it prevents interaction between two distinct portions responsible for downstream cellular signaling—blocking activation while allowing other-related parts free reign.

To further compound its objective function, extended clinical research led experts scientists into their discovery that generally combining pertuzumab-containing treatment regimens using taxane-series chemotherapy produced maximum benefits against malignant cancers like early-stage or metastatic disease found within thoracic regions.

How Does It Work?

When combined with another drug called trastuzumab (Herceptin), Perjeta forms a powerful one-two punch against HER-positive breast cancer. While both drugs work on the same target, they do so in slightly different ways – making them complementary treatments when used together.

Trastuzumab attaches itself to the HER2 receptor and slows or stops the growth of HER2-positive cancer cells. On the other hand, Perjeta binds to another part of the same receptor and prevents signals from being sent that tell the cell to divide.

Pro Tip: If you’re wondering how many receptors are on a breast cancer cell, it’s probably best not to ask. There are more than enough for our purposes.

Together, these two drugs create an environment that is hostile to cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone – reducing side effects commonly associated with chemotherapy.

What Are Its Uses?

Perjeta was initially approved by the FDA in 2012 for use in combination with trastuzumab and chemotherapy as neoadjuvant treatment (pre-surgery) for patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer.

Since then, it has also been approved for:

  • Use after surgery (adjuvant treatment) in patients whose tumors have spread.
  • Treatment of metastatic (advanced) HER2-positive breast cancer in combination with Herceptin and chemotherapy.
  • First-line treatment of metastatic HER2-positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma in conjunction with Herceptin and a type of chemotherapy called cisplatin/capecitabine.

It is worth noting that perjeta does not work against all types of breast cancers – only those that test positive for high levels of HER2 proteins.

How Is It Administered?

Perjeta is typically given intravenously via infusion every three weeks. The first infusion takes about 60 minutes, while subsequent infusions can be done over a shorter period if there were no major complications during previous applications.

Dosage is calculated based on patient weight – ranging from 420mg up to a maximum limit depending on medical history factors like presence or absence healthcare-related conditions such as heart disease which increases risk factors involving heart failure where humanized monoclonal antibodies are utilized.

What Are The Side Effects?

Like most medications, Perjeta does come with potential side effects – some more severe than others. Below are common side effects experienced by patients on perjeta:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Mouth sores
  • Muscle pain

Pro Tip: If you’re experiencing hair loss due to perjeta, it might be time to invest in a stylish wig. Who knows? You might even discover an alter ego.

More serious side effects can include heart failure or lung problems – although these tend to be quite rare. Patients should always inform their healthcare providers of any symptoms they experience while taking the medication.

In Conclusion

Perjeta is one of several HER2-targeted therapies available for treating breast cancer. Its ability to attack cancer cells without harming healthy ones makes it a promising option for many patients with HER2-positive tumors.

While there are potential side effects that come with taking this medication, they tend to be manageable as long as patients follow their treatment plans closely and report any symptoms promptly.

As always, it’s essential to have open communication with healthcare providers about treatment options and concerns you may have about using specific drugs like Perjeta.

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