TCH: Taxotere, Carboplatin and Herceptin

TCH (Taxotereinfo-icon or Taxolinfo-icon, carboplatininfo-icon and Herceptininfo-icon) is a chemotherapyinfo-icon regimeninfo-icon used to treat HER2-positive breast cancer. It is a combination of two chemotherapy medicines:

And a targeted therapy:                                                                         

Trastuzumabinfo-icon is a type of targeted therapyinfo-icon called a monoclonal antibodyinfo-icon. It attaches to HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2info-icon) proteins and can kill HER2-positive cancer cells. 

How TCH Works

Docetaxelinfo-icon and paclitaxelinfo-icon work by damaging the structure or the “skeleton” that supports cancer cells. This stops the cancer cells from growing and dividing. Carboplatininfo-icon stops cancer cells from reproducing by sticking to their DNA.

Trastuzumabinfo-icon (H) attaches to HER2 proteins on the surface of HER2-positive cancer cells, and blocks the signals that cause the cancer cells to multiply.

How TCH is Given

All three medicines are given by veininfo-icon. Trastuzumabinfo-icon can be given first, followed by paclitaxelinfo-icon or docetaxelinfo-icon and carboplatininfo-icon.  It’s also common to receive all three medicines at once.

You will probably have 4 to 6 treatments of paclitaxel or docetaxel, and carboplatin every 3 weeks. You may also get treated on a weekly basis. Trastuzumab is then given weekly or every 3 weeks for a total of a year.

Side Effects and Things to Remember

Different medicines have different side effects. You may not have every side effectinfo-icon related to each medicineinfo-icon of the combination therapyinfo-icon. Side effects of TCH may include:

Before starting TCH, tell your doctor about any medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and over-the-counterinfo-icon medicines, to make sure they won’t interfere with your chemotherapyinfo-icon treatment.

Trastuzumabinfo-icon can cause complications in pregnancy, so you should not become pregnant while taking it.

Be sure to talk to your doctor, pharmacistinfo-icon or nurseinfo-icon about all your side effects so that they can help you manage them. You can also go to our section on Side Effects for more information.

August 31, 2015