Trastuzumab (Herceptin)

Image of drug being administered by syringe

This Navigator topic is your stepping stone to finding quality, current information from a range of reputable sources about Trastuzumab, which is the generic name for Herceptin.

This information is primarily aimed at women diagnosed with early HER2+ breast cancer. It is not meant to be comprehensive, but rather to provide a starting point to information seeking.

Last Updated: 4 January, 2024 1:59 pm

When making decisions about commencing Herceptin (Trastuzumab), you may wish to consider the following questions. These questions may help you decide about the treatment of your breast cancer.

You might want the answers to some of the questions straight away, while some may become important later on. You can either ask these questions directly to your oncologist or other medical specialist, or use them as a guide to put together your own questions.

  • How is Trastuzumab treatment different from chemotherapy?
  • Can I benefit from treatment with Trastuzumab alone, without chemotherapy?
  • How much will Trastuzumab cost?
  • When will I start Trastuzumab if I am having other treatments?
  • Will I need to go to hospital to receive Trastuzumab?
  • Should I do anything in particular to prepare for having treatment?
  • How often will I have treatment?
  • How long is treatment duration?
  • Will I need any extra tests? How much will the extra tests cost?
  • What are the possible side effects of Trastuzumab?
  • When are side effects likely to occur?
  • Who should I talk to if side effects occur?
  • How can I manage side effects if they occur?
  • Will the side effects stop or improve when I finish treatment?

This list provides links to key pieces of evidence-based information about Herceptin treatment. The list includes downloadable fact sheets, pamphlets, web pages and videos.

Cancer Council - Understanding targeted therapy 2021 (AUS)

This page and fact sheet explain targeted therapies, including trastuzumab and pertuzumab for the treatment of HER2 positive breast cancer. It explains who may benefit, how to access treatment, and possible side effects. Download this information as a PDF fact sheet at the bottom of the page.

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) - My Journey online tool (AUS)

Formerly the My Journey Kit, this tool is now online. Sign up to access information that can be tailored to your own situation. Find information on Herceptin under the Targeted therapies area of the Treatment section.

Dr Susan Love - HER2 Positive (US)

Short video from the Dr Susan Love Research Foundation explaining how Herceptin works, in simple language.

Counterpart webinar - Targeted therapies 2015 (VIC)

In this webinar recording, Dr Shirley Wong, a Consultant Medical Oncologist, discusses hormone treatments and Herceptin, how they work, their limitations and who they are used for.

HER2Support.Org (US)

A US-based website for women with HER2+ breast cancer, which includes online support, information and updates on research in this area.

Breast Cancer Org - Herceptin 2023 (US)

Web page on Herceptin on the website of Breast Cancer Org., a not for profit organisation based in the US.

Genentech - About Herceptin (US)

A web page dedicated to explaining the function, benefits and risks of taking Trastuzumab. The information is located on the website of the pharmaceutical company involved in the production and distribution of the drug.

NPS MedicineWise Herceptin® IV 2019

Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) sheet for Herceptin® powder for infusion. Includes a description of the drug, explanation of why and how it is given and side effects.

These links direct you to websites containing personal stories in both written and video format, and include blogs and online forums. The information contained in these links reflects the personal experiences of individuals and does not constitute evidence-based research or information.

Above and Beyond - HER2 positive and Herceptin (Can)

Canadian blogger Laura talks about her experience with Herceptin in 2013.

Counterpart - Peer Support Volunteers (AUS)

Counterpart (formerly BreaCan) is a unique free information support service for Victorian women living with breast or gynaecological cancers. Women can connect and speak with trained peer support volunteers who have had their own experiences of breast or a gynaecological cancer.

Cancer Connect (VIC)

Cancer Council Victoria provide an online support network for people living with cancer, where you will be linked with a trained volunteer who has had a similar cancer experience to you.

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) (AU)

BCNA offers a consumer based website with a number of blogs and online support groups about using Trastuzumab. You will need to register to participate in the forum.

HER2Support.Org (US)

A US-based website for women with HER2+ breast cancer, which features personal experiences and stories of women who have experience of Trastuzumab.

Aussie Breast Cancer Forum (AU)

An Australian website that hosts forums on a range of topics for people with breast cancer, their friends and family. It contains a number of discussions about Trastuzumab.