Adverse Effects of HER-2 Targeted Therapies

  • What do you discuss with your patients as potential adverse effects of these HER2-targeted therapies?
    • Trastuzumab and pertuzumab can cause decrease in ejection fraction in up to 20% of patients:
      • Although this is often reversible
    • Trastuzumab can less commonly cause pneumonitis
    • Pertuzumab can cause rash and diarrhea


1. Gianni L, Pienkowski T, Im YH, Roman L, Tseng LM, Liu MC, et al. Efficacy and safety of neoadjuvant pertuzumab and trastuzumab in women with locally advanced, inflammatory, or early HER2-positive breast cancer (NeoSphere): a randomised multicentre, open-label, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2012;13(1):25-32.

2. Schneeweiss A, Chia S, Hickish T, Harvey V, Eniu A, Hegg R, et al. Pertuzumab plus trastuzumab in combination with standard neoadjuvant anthracycline-containing and anthracycline-free chemotherapy regimens in patients with HER2-positive early breast cancer: a randomized phase II cardiac safety study (TRYPHAENA). Ann Oncol.2013;24(9):2278-2284.

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