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Old 11-08-2021, 12:54 PM   #1
Pamelamary
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 491
Goodbye Herceptin?

Hi Everybody,
I have just found out that Australia's pharmaceutical benefits scheme will no longer be funding Roche's Herceptin and my treatment will continue with a "bio-similar" called Herzuma. Does anybody more technically minded than I know about this drug? I assume it should give me the same benefits and side effects, but need a little reassurance after nearly 10 years on Vitamin H.
Best wishes..... Pam
__________________
Diagnosed 2004: Lumpectomy - 2 tumours, both grade 1 infiltrating duct carcinoma, about 12mm. ER+,
C-erbB-2 status 3+.
Clear margins, no nodal involvement.
Radiotherapy, i year Tamoxifen, 4 years Arimidex.
Rediagnosed 2012: Multiple bone metastases.
3/12: began on Marianne trial - T-DM1 + Pertuzamab/Placebo.
5/12:Unexpected development of numerous bilateral liver mets. Came off trial.
Started Docetaxol/ Herceptin + Zometa.
8/12:Bones stable +major regression in liver (!)
9/12:Can't take any more Docetaxol! Start on Herceptin and Tamoxifen. Cross fingers!
Changed to Denosumab.
11/12: Scan shows stable - yay!
11/13: Still stable :-) !!!
1/16: All stable, but lowered calcium, so switched to Zometa 3 monthly.
2/19: Happily still stable on Herceptin, Letrozole and 3 monthly Zometa.
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Old 11-09-2021, 12:12 PM   #2
donocco
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Re: Goodbye Herceptin?

Pam

According to the literature it should work the same way. The reason for the change is cost. Biosimilars are cheaper than brand drugs but fo rall intents and purposes the work the same way.

Paul
PS Herceptin has 5 different biosimilar products
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Old 11-09-2021, 10:57 PM   #3
Pamelamary
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Posts: 491
Re: Goodbye Herceptin?

Thanks Paul - I kind of knew it was OK, but any change causes trepidation..... Pam
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Old 11-16-2021, 05:51 AM   #4
dawny
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Location: Geelong, Australia
Posts: 250
Re: Goodbye Herceptin?

Oh geez, Pam!

I havenít heard about this yet. Any changes like that make me nervous too. I will ask about it next week when I have my next H infusion. My Onc wants me to stop Herceptin as itís been nearly five years since my last progression (bone Mets). Iím feeling very uncomfortable about that. What if I have progression soon after stopping, I would be kicking myself, and everything around me! Lol

Sending love (and happiness after getting out of lockdown, yeeeha)

Dawn x
__________________
Dx May 27 2011, age 43
Stage 1V 3.6cm breast lump, spot on lung nodes chest + neck
HER2+ ER/PR-
Abraxane weekly - 16 weeks
Herceptin every third week
September 26 2011 N.E.D!
Herceptin ongoing
8th Dec 2011 Brain MRI - clear
20th Dec 2011 bone/cat scan clear still NED
April 2012 scans show axillary node lump - ? what to do...
June 2012 Axillary node dissection 1/11 nodes affected, a wide local excision shows DCIS. Now what to do again? Watch and scan 3 monthly
April 2013, two spots in nodes to chest wall, start TDM1 as part of clinical trial
July 2013 stable
Oct 2013 progression off TDM-1
Nov 2013 radiation to lymph nodes in sternum
Dec 2013. Mastectomy right side, pathology shows tumour was HER-2 negative, no wonder TDM-1 didn't work!
April 2014 NED. On Herceptin only
August 2014 NED. On Herceptin only
March 2015. NED. On Herceptin only
September 2015 NED on Herceptin only
March 2016. Pulmonary embolism, Clexane injections daily forever. Still NED On Herceptin only
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Old 11-21-2021, 11:48 PM   #5
Pamelamary
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Posts: 491
Re: Goodbye Herceptin?

Hi Dawn!
I don't think we need worry - but you would definitely be having the bio-similar now. Like you, I have been stable for ages. My oncologist says my cancer is "indolent". She hasn't suggested I stop though, and I would probably worry myself sick .....
Glad to hear you are going well and of course, hope you are enjoying our new "freedoms".
Best wishes..... Pam
__________________
Diagnosed 2004: Lumpectomy - 2 tumours, both grade 1 infiltrating duct carcinoma, about 12mm. ER+,
C-erbB-2 status 3+.
Clear margins, no nodal involvement.
Radiotherapy, i year Tamoxifen, 4 years Arimidex.
Rediagnosed 2012: Multiple bone metastases.
3/12: began on Marianne trial - T-DM1 + Pertuzamab/Placebo.
5/12:Unexpected development of numerous bilateral liver mets. Came off trial.
Started Docetaxol/ Herceptin + Zometa.
8/12:Bones stable +major regression in liver (!)
9/12:Can't take any more Docetaxol! Start on Herceptin and Tamoxifen. Cross fingers!
Changed to Denosumab.
11/12: Scan shows stable - yay!
11/13: Still stable :-) !!!
1/16: All stable, but lowered calcium, so switched to Zometa 3 monthly.
2/19: Happily still stable on Herceptin, Letrozole and 3 monthly Zometa.
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Old 11-24-2021, 12:02 PM   #6
Donna H
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Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 286
Re: Goodbye Herceptin?

My insurance (here in the US) only covers bio-similars as well.
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Old 11-24-2021, 11:57 PM   #7
Pamelamary
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Re: Goodbye Herceptin?

Donna,
Seems it shouldn't matter, though we will all be grateful for the original Herceptin! Hope you are going well........ Pam
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