The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new breast cancer medication that can be given at home.
This new medication is found under the brand name Phesgo. It’s a combination of the following medications: pertuzumab, trastuzumab and hyaluronidase–zzxf.
Phesgo is available as an injection and is to be administered at home by a health care professional. It is to be injected under the skin in the thigh.
The FDA approved this medication to treat adults with early HER2-positive breast cancer. Those with HER2-positive breast cancer have large amounts of a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).
This type of breast cancer makes up about one-fifth of all breast cancers.
Phesgo is a combination of Perjeta (pertuzumab) and Herceptin (trastuzumab), both of which are injected into the vein. This combination medication is given under the skin as opposed to the vein.
According to the company that makes this medication, this new type of formulation reduces the time of administration from between one and two and a half hours to approximately five minutes.
“Currently, most patients with HER2-positive breast cancer receive trastuzumab and pertuzumab at infusion centers,” said Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the FDA’s Office of Oncologic Diseases, in a press release. “With a new administration route, Phesgo offers an out-patient option for patients to receive trastuzumab and pertuzumab.”
Phesgo is started with chemotherapy. Once the chemotherapy treatment is complete, Phesgo can be continued at home.
Common side effects of Phesgo include hair loss, nausea, diarrhea, anemia (lower number of red blood cells) and lack of energy.
This medication holds a boxed warning, which is the strongest type of warning, regarding the risk for heart failure and lung toxicity. Furthermore, this medication can harm your unborn baby.
The FDA granted approval of this medication to Genentech Inc.