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Targeted Therapy

Hematology at MMMC

Targeted therapy continues to transform our breast cancer treatment, with the potential for more powerful and less toxic approaches.

Also called immunotherapy or biological therapy, targeted therapy starts with the identification of a breast cancer’s particular characteristics, then uses drugs or other substances to trigger the body’s own immune response to interfere with the way cancer cells operate.

We use effective, proven treatments like Herceptin, and continue to study newly available therapies. Our clinical trials include new ways to treat HER2-positive, triple-negative and hormone receptor-positive breast cancers.

Types of Targeted Therapy

Several targeted therapies are available to treat breast cancer:

  • Drugs that targeted the HER2 protein:
    • Trastuzumab (Herceptin): a manmade version of an antibody, it is the most commonly used biological therapy for breast cancer and works by attaching to protein receptors and blocking excess HER2 from promoting cancer cell growth
    • Ado-trastuzumab emtansine: a manmade antibody helps deliver a chemotherapy component directly to the cancer cells
    • Pertuzumab: a man-made version of an antibody that also attaches to and neutralizes the HER2 protein
    • Lapatinib: a drug that targets HER2 by a different mechanism and can be given if trastuzumab stops working
  • Everolimus: blocks another cell growth protein called mTOR, effectively stopping cancer cells from multiplying
  • Bevacizumab: an antibody that stops a particular protein from helping tumors form the new blood vessels they need

Make an Appointment

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Find a Doctor

Our breast cancer specialists can help create a tailored plan just for you.


MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
3800 Reservoir Rd., NW
Washington, D.C. 20007

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
18101 Prince Philip Dr.
Olney, MD 20832

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
110 Irving St.
Washington, D.C. 20010


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