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Benefits of trastuzumab outweigh its harms, says Cochrane review

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 12 June 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3835
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

The benefits of trastuzumab (marketed as Herceptin) outweigh the increased risk of heart problems in women with metastatic breast cancer, a systematic review has concluded.1

The monoclonal antibody reduces overall mortality from breast cancer by one fifth after two years of follow-up, but the risk of heart toxicity is between three and four times more likely than in regimens that did not include the drug, concludes the review published in the Cochrane Library.

Overexpression or amplification of HER2 receptors is seen in about a fifth of women with breast cancer, …

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