Kadcyla: read more about the breast cancer drug

Discovering breast cancer is not always an easy process. The disease can affect not only physical, but also emotional issues, such as self-esteem .

There are some remedies that are part of the routine of people diagnosed like Kadcyla, for the treatment of cancer HER2 + breast.

It is a breakthrough in disease therapy, as it is part of the group of drugs called target therapy. Thus, unlike many cancer drugs, it does not usually have some characteristic side symptoms, such as hair loss.

According to studies, the drug acts faster than existing therapies, in addition to demonstrating great efficacy.

Learn more about the drug:

What is Kadcyla Tdm1?

Kadcyla is a medicine for adult use, administered intravenously (in the vein) and manufactured by Roche – pharmaceutical company.

Its active ingredient is Trastuzumab Entansina and is used in the isolated treatment of some cases of HER2 breast cancer.

Initially, Anvisa approved the drug for the treatment of metastatic HER2-positive cancer (when the tumor spread to other parts of the body) or advanced in patients who had already undergone previous treatment.

Subsequently, it was also approved for adjuvant treatment (secondary treatment) in early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer, which presents residual invasive disease – when not all cancer cells were eliminated, even after treatment.

HER2 breast cancer is one in which the HER2 receptor gene stands out from others in the body. This gene acts on cell growth and differentiation, which leads to greater development of cancer cells.

What is Kadcyla for?

Kadcyla is used to treat breast cancer with positive receptors for HER2 protein – a protein that stimulates the growth of breast cells.

It is indicated for cases in which the cancer is advanced and without indication for surgery or when it is metastatic (in which the tumor has spread to other parts of the body).

In addition, medication should be administered only if the patient has previously undergone treatment with two other medications: Trastuzumab + Taxane.

In cases of initial breast cancer, the drug is recommended for patients who have undergone previous neoadjuvant treatment (drug administration before the main treatment) with Trastuzumab + Taxane and have presented invasive residual disease – permanence of disease in the breasts or armpits even after treatment.

What are the reactions and side effects?

Like other medicines, Kadcyla can have some side effects in those who use it.

The most common are:

  • Anemia;
  • Low number of platelets;
  • Nausea;
  • Constipation;
  • Vomiting;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Pains;
  • Canker sores;
  • Fatigue;
  • Fever;
  • Weakness;
  • Chills;
  • Urinary tract infection;
  • Low level of potassium in the blood;
  • Insomnia;
  • Lack of air;
  • Cough;
  • Bleeding from the nose;
  • Skin lesions;
  • Hemorrhage.

Common reactions include:

  • Decrease in the amount of white blood cells;
  • Dysfunction of the left ventricle of the heart;
  • Dry eye;
  • Conjunctivitis;
  • Indigestion;
  • Swelling;
  • Allergy;
  • Dizziness;
  • Change in taste;
  • Itch;
  • High pressure.

In relation to the uncommon, but which may occur, are:

  • Liver failure;
  • Increased pressure in the portal vein;
  • Inflammation of the lung tissues.

Despite the listed symptoms, it is worth remembering that each organism reacts differently to the medication. This way, not necessarily all patients will suffer all side effects.

Do you have contraindications?

-Yeah . Kadcyla is not indicated for people who are allergic to the substance Trastuzumab Entansina or the other components of the medicine. In addition, clinical confirmation that the cancer is Her-2 positive is required.

Kadcyla prices

Kadcyla is a high-cost medicine. Their values ​​vary according to their dosage.

Kadcyla 100mg

The Kadcyla 100mg costs about R $ 10,450 *.

Each vial has a single use and contains 100mg of freeze-dried powder of Trastuzumab Entasine.

Kadcyla 160mg

The Kadcyla 160mg has a value of approximately R $ 13,103 *.

Each vial has a single use and contains 160mg of freeze-dried powder of Trastuzumab Entasine.

* Prices consulted in December 2019. Prices may change.

Does SUS provide?

No . Kadcyla is not part of the list of drugs supplied directly by SUS.

In spite of this, patients with a medical prescription for the use of medication can go to court.

For that, it is necessary to open a judicial process. During this procedure, it is necessary to present some documents, such as: Medical Report, exams, standard requirement, in addition to the budget of 3 pharmacies.

It is possible to carry out the budget by advising on the quotation of high-cost medications , which presents values ​​in a simple way.

Is the medication approved by ANVISA?

-Yeah . Kadcyla was approved and registered by the National Health Surveillance Agency in 2014.

It is part of the therapeutic class of antineoplastic drugs, those used to destroy malignant cells.

Kadcyla ou Herceptin?

Kadcyla and Herceptin are medications indicated for the treatment of tumors in the breast area. Despite this, they have some differences between them, starting with the active ingredient.

While Kadcycla has trastuzumab entansine as the active substance, Herceptin is based on trastuzumab only.

The form of use also differs. While Herceptin can be used either alone, or in conjunction with other medications, Kadcyla, according to the package insert, is indicated for use only as a monotherapy (isolated).

Another point is the side effects. In Herceptin, as well as other drugs for the treatment of cancer, it is common to have partial or total loss of hair. With Kadcyla, this reaction is not listed.

Regarding access to medications, Herceptin is provided by SUS, while Kadcyla is not yet distributed by the health system.

Both are administered intravenously and have similar purchase prices. However, the choice must always be made by professionals individually, considering the clinical condition of each patient.


Breast cancer is a disease faced by many people around the world. In Brazil, there are about 2 million cases per year.

To address the problem, there are medications like Kadcyla.

On the Healthy Minute blog we have other content about medicines and treatments for you. Keep reading!

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