Perjeta: see about the treatment for breast cancer

The National Cancer Institute (INCA) estimates that, in 2020, approximately 66 thousand new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed.

Fortunately, with the help of drugs and surgical interventions, this disease has a cure in many cases.

The following text will explain about a medicine named Perjeta, which is used for some conditions of the disease. Check out:

What is Perjeta and which laboratory?

Perjeta is a biological medicine for intravenous use, that is, the application is made in the patient’s vein with the aid of a hospital hose.

The active ingredient of this remedy is Pertuzumab, indicated in combination with the medications Herceptin (trastuzumab) and docetaxel for the treatment of metastatic HER-2 positive breast cancer (when the tumor has spread to other parts of the body).

Such a drug should not be used by women under the age of 18, who are breastfeeding, pregnant or with suspected pregnancy.

This medicine is contraindicated for patients who have allergies to Pertuzumab or any other components present in the formula.

In its composition, the drug contains sugar and therefore should be administered with caution in patients with diabetes .

Perjeta is manufactured by the pharmaceutical laboratory Roche, founded in 1896 and headquartered in Switzerland.

What is Perjeta HER?

Perjeta HER is a biological medicine indicated for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer in combination therapy with Docetaxel.

Its recommended dosage, side effects and purpose of this medicine are the same as Perjeta.

But after all, what is the difference between Perjeta and Perjeta HER?

Basically, Perjeta is a medicine that has a substance called Pertuzumab as its active ingredient 

Already Perjeta HER is handled with two active principles: Pertuzumab and Trastuzumab.

I.e:

  • Perjeta: Pertuzumambe;
  • Perjeta HER: Pertuzumambe + Trastuzumab

What is the difference between Perjeta and Herceptin?

First of all, let’s name the active ingredients for each of these drugs.

Perjeta has Pertuzumambe as its active ingredient. Herceptin’s active ingredient is Trastuzumab.

That is, when these two drugs (Perjeta and Herceptin) are combined, they were a 3rd remedy: Perjeta Her.

Although Pertuzumambe (Perjeta) and Trastuzumab (Herceptin) are manipulated for the same reason (to fight HER 2-positive metastatic breast cancer), the way of acting in the body is different.

Pertuzumambe (Perjeta) is a monoclonal antibody (produced by a single clone) that acts to prevent receptor 2 molecules from attaching to molecules of the HER family.

Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is an antibody that acts specifically against a protein that is present in people with breast and gastric tumors.

That is, the first prevents the molecules from binding and forming a tumor (cancer cells). The second fights a protein that is in the body of those who already have sick (or cancerous) cells.

What is the medicine Perjeta for

Perjeta is a drug indicated to treat HER-2 positive breast cancer that has spread to other organs and tissues (metastasis).

To be treated with this drug, the patient must not have received any previous anti-HER-2 treatment or chemotherapy against metastatic tumors.

Is it chemotherapy?

No. Perjeta is classified as a form of neoadjuvant treatment , which consists of the application of hormones combined with other ways of treating the disease. That is, it can be complementary to chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery to remove tumors.

If the medical recommendation is surgical intervention, this type of treatment can be applied for 2 purposes:

  • Before surgery: reduce the size of the tumor so that the surgery is more successful;
  • After surgery: destroy any possible cancer cells that may still be present in the patient’s body.

When the form of treatment is chemotherapy or radiotherapy, the doses of Perjeta will be administered interchangeably with other drugs.

How to take Perjeta according to the package leaflet?

First of all, it is worth mentioning that the application of Perjeta must be done in a hospital environment and by a trained medical team.

It is administered intravenously, that is, it must be diluted in a serum bag and then applied to the patient’s vein.

The recommended starting dose is 840mg (which is equivalent to 2 vials) for approximately 60 minutes.

After this first application, the others should happen every 3 weeks in doses of 420mg, always according to medical advice.

In the case of Perjeta HER, the application must be as follows:

First dose

If the patient is taking Perjeta Her for the first time, 840mg of Pertuzumab should be applied normally.

Then, an estimate of the patient’s weight is made and 8mg of Trastuzumab is administered for each kilogram of body.

From the first dose, the others should be administered every 3 weeks, applying 420mg of Pertuzumab.

Then, 6 mg of Trastuzumab should be administered for each kilogram of the patient.

What are the side effects of the treatment?

According to the package insert, the side effects reported during treatment in combination of Perjeta with other substances (such as Trastuzumab and Docetaxel) are:

Very common

These adverse reactions happen in more than 10% of cases and include:

  • Fever;
  • Tiredness;
  • Hair loss and hair loss (alopecia);
  • Itching and redness of the skin;
  • Diarrhea ;
  • Motion sickness;
  • Vomiting;
  • Constipation;
  • Dizziness;
  • Headache;
  • Anemia ;
  • Weakness;
  • Swelling in the lower limbs;
  • Decrease in blood cells;
  • Shortness of breathe;
  • Muscle and joint pain;
  • Insomnia;
  • Blush;
  • Loss of appetite.

Common

Side effects classified as common are present in less than 10% of patients. Among them are:

  • Nail infection;
  • Pleural effusion (fluid accumulation in the lungs);
  • Left ventricular dysfunction (when the filling of the left ventricle of the heart is compromised);
  • Hypersensitivity.

Has ANVISA already approved the medication?

Yes. Both drugs (Perjeta and Perjeta HER) were approved by the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).

Perjeta can be handled and marketed in Brazil until May 2028. Perjeta HER is authorized to be sold until December of the same year.

It is worth remembering that both Perjeta and Perjeta HER are biological and antineoplastic drugs (used to destroy cancer cells and thus prevent the formation of tumors).

What is the price of Perjeta 420mg?

The box with 1 vial containing 14mL of Perjeta 420mg costs between R $ 12,774 and R $ 16,584 *.

The same amount of Perjeta HER has a minimum value of approximately R $ 15,999 *.

* Prices consulted in January 2020. Prices may change.

Does SUS provide Perjeta?

Yes. This medicine is provided free of charge by the Unified Health System.

To get this right, the patient needs to have the SUS card, a medical report that proves the need for the medication and attend a basic health unit for screening.

After that, just mark with the hospital or clinic the locations and times of application of Perjeta.

In some cases, even if the person follows the correct procedures, there may be difficulties or impossibilities for SUS to provide the appropriate treatment.

In such cases, the only way out is to look for a lawyer and file a lawsuit.

How to make a budget?

For patients who are going to appeal to the court to request Perjeta, several documents are required, such as a medical report that proves the need for the medicine and a budget with at least 3 pharmacies that sell such medicine.

The team at Consulta Remédios, always thinking about making your life easier, developed an Advisory program for high-cost drugs.

Just access the link , fill in the fields with your data and within a few hours our team will send you a complete and personalized quote for your case.


Perjeta is a drug indicated for the treatment of HER 2-positive metastatic breast cancer.

The application of this medicine should always be done by a trained health professional and in a hospital environment.

If in doubt, seek medical advice. The Healthy Minute brings other information about medicines . Follow our posts and stay on top of the health world !!!

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