Treatments in Common Use for Metastatic Breast Cancer H - Z

Four fundamentally different kinds of drugs are used to treat metastatic breast cancer:

·          Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Cytotoxic (cell-killing) chemotherapy drugs are poisons that disrupt cancer cell functions, usually while a cell is dividing. Listed in yellow.

·          Hormonal treatments: Hormonal treatments target breast cancers that grow in the presence of estrogen (and sometimes progesterone), and are used only for tumors that are ER+ and/or PR+ Listed in blue.

·          Targeted therapies or biologics: Targeted therapies are biologics that target specific genes that make proteins that stimulate cell growth (oncogenes), and may only work if the tumor overexpresses certain proteins. Listed in pink.

·          Other common medications: Intravenous bisphosphonates for bone metastases, and biological response modifiers that offer growth- factor support for patients undergoing chemotherapy. Listed in orange.

Brand Name

Generic Name

Drug Type and Administration

Prescribing Information

Links to Patient-Friendly info

Halaven®

eribulin mesylate

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Non-taxane microtubule inhibitor, IV injection

RxLabel

 

Halotestin®

fluoxymesterone

Hormone therapy: Androgen, male hormone Oral (older treatment, rarely used now)

RxLabel

Halotestin in ChemoCare

Herceptin®

trastuzumab

Monoclonal antibody: inhibitor of HER2 Targeted for HER2+ breast cancer only IV infusion, 1 or 3 weekly

RxLabel

Herceptin in ChemoCare

Ixempra®

ixabepilone

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Non-taxane microtubule inhibitor, IV infusion, 3 weekly

RxLabel

Ixempra in ChemoCare

Lupron®

leuprolide

Hormonal therapy: LHRH agonist, stops ovarian function SubQ injection (similar to Zoladex)

RxLabel

Lupron in ChemoCare

Megace®

megestrol acetate

Hormone therapy: Progesterone Oral, daily (older treatment, rarely used)

RxLabel

Megace in ChemoCare

Methotrexate

methotrexate

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Antimetabolite IV infusion, injection, intrathecal

RxLabel

Methotrexate in ChemoCare

Mutamycin®

mitomycin-C

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Anti-tumor antibiotic IV injection or infusion (investigational)

RxLabel

Mitomycin-C in ChemoCare

Navelbine®

vinorelbine tartrate

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Vinka alkaloid IV injection

RxLabel

Navelbine in ChemoCare

Neulasta®

pegfilgrastim

Biologic response modifier: Boosts white blood cell production to avoid febrile neutropenia (Like Neupogen but longer-lasting) SubQ injection

RxLabel

Neulasta in ChemoCare

Neupogen® G-CSF granulocyte-colony stimulating factor

filgrastim

Biologic response modifier: Stimulates white-blood cell production, helps chemotherapy patients avoid infection SubQ or IV injection, as needed

RxLabel

Neopogen in ChemoCare

Nolvadex®

tamoxifen

Hormone therapy: anti-estrogen Selective estrogen receptor modulator Oral, daily

RxLabel

Tamoxifen in ChemoCare

Novantrone®

mitoxantrone

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Anti-tumor antibiotic IV injection (investigational)

RxLabel

Novantrone in ChemoCare

Paraplatin®

carboplatin

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Alkylating agent Platinum chemotherapy IV infusion

Rx Label

Carboplatin in ChemoCare

  Perjeta®

  pertuzumab

 Monoclonal antibody added to Herceptin for “dual blockade” of HER2+ disease.  IV infusion every 3 weeks

   

Platinol®

cisplatin

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Alkylating agent, Platinum chemotherapy IV infusion (less common than carboplatin)

RxLabel

Cisplatin in ChemoCare

Procrit®

epoetin alfa

Colony stimulating factor: Treatment for anemia caused by chemotherapy Injection, daily as needed

RxLabel

Procrit in ChemoCare

Taxol®

paclitaxel

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Plant alkyloid, microtubule agent, taxane IV infusion

RxLabel

Taxol in ChemoCare

Taxotere®

docetaxel

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Taxane IV infusion

RxLabel

Taxotere in ChemoCare

Temodar®

temozolomide

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Alkylating agent Oral (only used for brain metastases)

RxLabel

Temodar in ChemoCare

Toremifine®

fareston

Hormonal treatment: Selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) Oral, daily (similar to tamoxifen, rarely used)

RxLabel

Toremifine in ChemoCare

Tykerb®

lapatinib

Tyrosine kinase inhibitor of HER2 and EGFR: for HER2+ breast cancer only Oral, daily

RxLabel

Tykerb in ChemoCare

Xeloda®

capecitabine

Cytotoxic chemotherapy: Oral antimetabolite (a form of 5-fluouracil) Oral daily (intermittent schedule)

Rx Label

Xeloda at ChemoCare

Xgeva®

denosumab

RankL (ligand) inhibitor: decreases hypercalcemia, fractures and pain in patients with bone metastases. Denosumab or IV bisphosphonate are standard of care for bone metastases

RxLabel

 

Zoladex®

goserelin

Hormone therapy: LHRH agonist, stops ovarian function SubQ injection, monthly (similar to Lupron)

RxLabel

Zoladex in ChemoCare

Zometa®

zoledronic acid

Bisphosphonate: decreases hypercalcemia, fractures, pain in patients with bone mets Standard of care for bone metastases IV, monthly or less frequently

RxLabel

Zometa in ChemoCare

         © Copyright Musa Mayer 2011