Multidisciplinary Management of HER2+ Breast Cancer - Episode 5

Subcutaneous Therapies for HER2+ MBC

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Julia A. LaBarbera, NP, reacts to the treatment approach used for a patient with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and highlights the benefits of new subcutaneous injections of trastuzumab and pertuzumab that are available.

Sara A. Hurvitz, MD: Julia, can you talk to us about the treatment that Erika received from a systemic perspective? Is this in line. with what we typically do. and how do you think things have changed in the COVID-19 era with frequent infusion visits and the recent availability of subcutaneous HER2 [human epidermal growth factor receptor 2]-targeted therapies?

Erika Rich: I just took the chemotherapy agent and the 2 HER2-targeted therapies.

Julia A. LaBarbera, NP: The development of the subcutaneous trastuzumab and pertuzumab, which patients are excited about because it will avoid the need in some instances for them to have to come to the infusion center for treatment. Docetaxel is not yet available in any other form besides IV [intravenous] at the beginning portion, patients will still have to come to the infusion area to get those 3 treatments. Once that component is done, they may have the option of continuing treatment with the subcutaneous at home or at their infusion center depending on what the availability is for that person and their insurance coverage. That’s exciting for some people who during this pandemic want to avoid contact with people as much as possible.

Sara A. Hurvitz, MD: It’s been interesting to have that available now. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of our practices in the clinic allowing patients to do video visits, in some cases at home subcutaneous injections rather than coming to the infusion room. Again, if insurance covers it. It’s an interesting time as we see this crisis move forward our ability to treat patients outside of the clinic setting.

Transcript edited for clarity.