Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Font Size

New Treatments Target Advanced Breast Cancer

Drug Combos Extend Time Before Cancer Gets Worse

The Second Study: One-Two Punch With Pertuzumab, Herceptin

In the second study, adding pertuzumab to a combination of Herceptin and chemotherapy extended the time before cancer got worse from just over a year to just over a year and a half.

The study, dubbed Cleopatra, involved over 800 women with what’s called HER2-positive breast cancer.

Both drugs target a protein called HER2 that is overproduced in certain breast cancers. The drugs work together in a complementary way, Perez says. She has received research funding from Genentech, which makes the drugs and funded the work.

With the exception of diarrhea and a somewhat lower white blood cell count, women on pertuzumab didn't experience more side effects.

Pertuzumab is now being tested as treatment for women with early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer.

"The challenge going forward will be how best to use the many HER2 therapies now in development," says William Gradishar, MD, director of breast medical oncology at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago.

On the basis of this study, a one-two punch with pertuzumab and Herceptin is a logical choice for women with untreated HER2-positive cancer that has spread, he writes in an editorial in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Perez worries that cost will be an issue if insurers won't cover all the new treatments. Herceptin costs about $4,100 a month, Afinitor between $6,500 and $7,000. A price for pertuzumab has not been set, but it is likely to be in that range.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
Resolved To Quit Smoking
Woman getting mammogram
Screening Tests for Women
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
serious woman
what is your cancer risk
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow