NICE GUIDANCE RECOMMENDS TRASTUZUMAB USAGE

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Trastuzumab (herceptin) should be used to treat women with early stage HER2 positive breast cancer except where there are concerns about cardiac function, according to draft guidance by the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). The guidance covers England and Wales; a separate guidance for Scotland was published recently.

The guidance recommends the drug as a treatment option for women with early stage HER2 positive breast cancer after surgery, chemotherapy (whether neoadjuvant or adjuvant) and radiotherapy. Trastuzumab should be given at intervals of three weeks for one year or until recurrence of the disease, whichever is the shorter period.