Information for the public

Trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla) is available on the NHS. It is a possible treatment for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)‑positive early breast cancer, after surgery. But only if therapy before surgery didn’t fully shrink the breast cancer (residual invasive disease).

It is made of 2 different drugs joined together in 1 drug:

  • Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is a monoclonal antibody. It attaches to proteins (HER2 receptors) on the surface of cancer cells.
  • Emtansine is a chemotherapy drug that goes inside the cancer cell and destroys it.

Is this treatment right for me?

Your healthcare professionals should give you clear information, talk with you about your options and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Questions to think about

  • How well does it work compared with other treatments?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • How will the treatment affect my day-to-day life?
  • What happens if the treatment does not work?
  • What happens if I do not want to have treatment? Are there other treatments available?

Information and support

The NHS website may be a good place to find out more about breast cancer in women and men.

These organisations can give you advice and support:

You can also get support from your local Healthwatch.

NICE is not responsible for the quality or accuracy of any information or advice provided by these organisations.

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3790-5


This page was last updated: 10 June 2020