Mayo Clinic writes that after skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer which is diagnosed in women in the United States. Although breast cancer can occur in both men and women, it's far more common in women. Due to a number of factors such as earlier detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease, breast cancer survival rates have increased and the number of deaths has been declining. In an article on Feb. 22, 2013, Todd Neale has reported for MedPage Today, FDA OKs Genentech Breast Cancer Drug.
A drug antibody conjugate, which is called ado-trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla), has received FDA approval on Friday for HER2-positive, metastatic breast cancer. This new therapy is intended to be used in patients who have already undergone unsuccessful treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and a taxane. The trastuzumab portion of the conjugate in this drug, which was called T-DM1 during clinical development, targets HER2-positive cells, at which point the attached chemotherapeutic molecule, or DM1, than attacks the cancer cells.
The label for this drug will contain a boxed warning which advises patients and healthcare professionals about "risks of liver toxicity, reductions in left ventricular ejection fraction, and death." Furthermore, the boxed warning will detail risks of severe birth defects. Therefore, a woman's pregnancy status should be determined before starting treatment. The most common side effects which are associated with this new drug are "nausea, fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, thrombocytopenia, elevated transaminases, headache, and constipation."