NICE has recommended that trastuzumab (Herceptin) is used in combination with paclitaxel for women with tumours with excessive human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) at levels of 3+ who have not had chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer and for whom anthracycline treatment is inappropriate.
Trastuzumab by itself is recommended for women with tumours with excessive HER2 at levels of 3+ who have had at least two chemotherapy treatments for metastatic breast cancer. Previous chemotherapy must have included at least an anthracycline drug and a taxane drug where these treatments are appropriate. It should also have included hormonal therapy in patients sensitive to oestrogen.
The level of HER2 protein in the body should be assessed by a clinician using appropriate standards and methods.