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How long can you take Kadcyla?

Medically reviewed by Leigh Ann Anderson, PharmD. Last updated on July 12, 2023.

Official answer

  • If you have been diagnosed with HER2+ early-stage breast cancer, Kadcyla is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion every 3 weeks for a total of 14 cycles. Treatment with Kadcyla for HER2+ early-stage breast cancer usually lasts less than a year.
  • If you have HER2+ metastatic breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, Kadcyla is given once every 3 weeks on an ongoing basis.
  • In both cases, you may need to stop the medicine if the cancer returns or the side effects become too serious for you to continue treatment.

Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine) is a HER2-targeted drug treatment for the treatment of patients with HER2+ breast cancer. Your doctor will determine if you are a candidate for Kadcyla treatment based on a specific test using a tissue sample.

HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a protein found on the surface of all breast cells. In HER2+ breast cancer, the cells grow and divide too fast because they have too many HER2 receptors.

Learn more: What are HER2 inhibitors?

How is Kadcyla given?

  • Kadcyla is given to you as an intravenous (IV) infusion into your vein. You will receive this medicine in your doctor’s office, at a hospital, or at an infusion center.
  • Your first infusion will last about 90 minutes. After that, each infusion should take about 30 minutes if you tolerate your first infusion well.
  • Your healthcare provider will take extra time to be sure you tolerate the medicine well each time you receive an infusion.
  • If you miss a dose of Kadcyla, call your doctor right away to reschedule your appointment. Do not wait until your next regularly scheduled appointment.

Related Questions

What type of breast cancer does Kadcyla treat?

HER2+ early breast cancer

Kadcyla is used as an adjuvant treatment (after surgery) for patients with early-stage HER2+ breast cancer. It is used when you have received other medicines before your surgery, including a taxane and trastuzumab (Herceptin) and there is cancer remaining in the tissue removed during surgery.

HER2+ metastatic breast cancer

Kadcyla is used in patients with metastatic HER2+ breast cancer that has spread in the body after previous treatment with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and a taxane (either separately or together). Previous treatment could have been for the treatment of cancer that had spread to other parts of the body or for cancer that came back within 6 months of completing adjuvant therapy.

This is not all the information you need to know about Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine) for safe and effective use and does not take the place of talking to your doctor about your treatment. Review the full Kadcyla information here, and discuss this information and any questions you have with your doctor or other health care provider.


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