It’s a new treatment just approved by the Food and Drug Administration, giving some of the most vulnerable breast cancer patients a chance to fight the disease from home.
The treatment has been approved in the fight against HER2-positive breast cancer, which accounts for roughly one-fifth of breast cancers. The FDA has given a green light to Phesgo, a drug to treat adult patients with HER2-positive breast cancer that is either in its early stages or has spread to other parts of the body.
The FDA says Phesgo works by disrupting the signals which promote the growth of cancer cells. It’s initially used in combination with chemotherapy. Now, it can be administered at home through an injection under the skin by a qualified health care professional, once chemotherapy is finished– giving those vulnerable to the coronavirus a way to fight the disease without being put at further risk of COVID-19.
There are risks. The FDA said patients should be selected to start this treatment only after FDA-approved testing.
The most common side effects for patients taking Phesgo were hair loss, nausea, diarrhea, anemia and lack of energy.
Phesgo can also cause a low level of white blood cells, beyond what’s caused by chemotherapy.