Sacituzumab govitecan

Sacituzumab govitecan (Trodelvy) is an antibody-drug conjugate, a treatment that pairs a chemotherapyinfo-icon medicineinfo-icon with a targeted therapyinfo-icon. It is approved to treat people with metastaticinfo-icon, triple-negative breast cancerinfo-icon.

Sacituzumab govitecan contains an antibody, similar to the cells in your body that attack diseases, that targets a proteininfo-icon that is common in triple-negative breast cancer. The antibody helps deliver a chemotherapy molecule directly to the tumorinfo-icon cells. This helps limit the side effects of the chemotherapy on the healthy cells.

How sacituzumab govitecan works

Sacituzumab govitecan is an antibody-drug conjugate. These medicines include an antibody to direct the treatment to cancer cells and a chemotherapyinfo-icon to kill the cancer cells. Antibody-drug conjugates are designed to better target and kill cancer cells and have fewer effects on the healthy cells in your body. The antibody portion of sacituzumab govitecan targets Trop-2, a proteininfo-icon that is highly expressed on triple-negative breast cancerinfo-icon cells. The chemotherapy part is SN-38, an activated form of irinotecan. 

How sacituzumab govitecan is given

Sacituzumab govitecan is given by veininfo-icon once every 3 weeks. For the first session, the infusioninfo-icon takes 3 hours, but if your body handles it well, it can be given in 1 to 2 hours in future appointments. Sacituzumab govitecan is given until the cancer grows again or until severe side effects develop.

Side effects and things to remember

Common side effects with sacituzumab govitecan include:

            • Diarrhea

            • Low white blood cell count

            • Nausea and vomiting

            • Fatigue

            • Low red blood cell count

            • Hair loss

            • Constipation

            • Rash

            • Stomach pain

            • Decreased appetite

Sacituzumab govitecan comes with warnings for neutropeniainfo-icon, a decrease in the level of certain white blood cells, and severe diarrheainfo-icon. Neutropenia is found by your doctor through a blood test and may result in changes to your treatment. You should let your doctor know if you have any signs of infectioninfo-icon such as fever, chills, trouble breathing, coughing, or pain while urinating. Tell your doctor immediately if you get diarrhea while taking sacituzumab govitecan. Most cases of diarrhea are resolved with medicineinfo-icon.

Tell your doctor about any medicines you are already taking, any existing medical conditions (especially liver problems). Sacituzumab govitecan is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, and women should try not to become pregnant while taking it.

Your doctor, pharmacistinfo-icon, or nurseinfo-icon can help you manage your side effects. You can also read more from LBBC on side effects and metastatic breast cancer.

December 15, 2020

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