Ado-Trastuzumab Emtansine (Kadcyla)
Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is an antibody-drug conjugate, a treatment that pairs a chemotherapy medicine with a targeted therapy. The trastuzumab helps deliver the chemotherapy directly to the tumor cells. This helps limit the side effects of the chemotherapy on the healthy cells.
Ado-trastuzumab emtansine is also approved to treat early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. It is only given in early-stage breast cancer if a person has already been given trastuzumab and chemotherapy before surgery, and breast cancer was still found at the time of surgery.
Common side effects of ado-trastuzumab emtansine include
- bone and joint pain
- diarrhea or constipation
- liver problems
- low platelet count, which may result in bruising
- low potassium levels
- low red blood cell count, which may result in fatigue and weakness
- nausea or stomach ache
- neuropathy, tingling or numbness in the hands or feet
Some people who take ado-trastuzumab emtansine develop a low white blood count, which may put you at risk for infection. Call your doctor right away if you show any symptoms of infection, such as a fever with chills.
If you have serious side effects, your doctor may stop treatment for a time or switch you to another treatment.
Before starting ado-trastuzumab emtansine, tell your doctor about any history of heart or lung problems as well as any medicines you are taking, including vitamins, herbal supplements and over-the-counter medicines. You should not become pregnant while taking ado-trastuzumab emtansine.