Oncologist. 2011;16(6):800-10. doi: 10.1634/theoncologist.2010-0035. Epub 2011 May 31.


Trastuzumab is standard of care in the treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)-2⁺ early and advanced breast cancer. Recently, it has been approved for the treatment of HER-2⁺ advanced gastric cancer. Trastuzumab is an IgG1 humanized monoclonal antibody administered by intravenous infusion on a weekly or three weekly schedule. In all registered indications, trastuzumab is almost always given in combination with chemotherapy. In hormonal receptor-positive breast cancer in postmenopausal women, trastuzumab can be combined with an aromatase inhibitor. Main toxicity is reduction in the left ventricular ejection fraction, which in a minority of patients can become symptomatic, but in many patients is at least partly reversible. Long-term safety needs to be further determined.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacokinetics
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Trastuzumab
  • Ventricular Function, Left


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Trastuzumab