A multidisciplinary perspective on the subcutaneous administration of trastuzumab in HER2-positive breast cancer

S. Dent, C. Ammendolea, A. Christofides, S. Edwards, D. Incekol, B. Pourmirza, S. Kfoury, B. Poirier


Trastuzumab is the standard treatment in Canada for patients with breast cancer positive for her2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2), dramatically improving outcomes in that patient group. However, its current intravenous (iv) administration is associated with long infusion times that place a significant burden on health care resources and patient quality of life. In an effort to provide a faster and easier administration method, a subcutaneous (sc) formulation of trastuzumab has been developed. Data from comparative trials demonstrate that the two formulations are comparable with respect to pharmacokinetics and efficacy. They also have similar safety profiles, with the exception of mild local and administration reactions with the sc formulation. Furthermore, the sc formulation is preferred by patients and health care professionals, and greatly reduces administration and chair time. Additional advantages include easier preparation and dosing, reduced drug wastage, and reduced discomfort at the injection site. By using well-thought-out administration procedures, the sc formulation can be given safely and effectively, potentially reducing the burden on health care resources and improving quality of life for patients.


trastuzumab; subcutaneous; breast cancer; HER2-positive

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.26.4220

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)