Kadcyla, also known as trastuzumab emtansine, is a targeted therapy for the treatment of advanced HER2-positive breast cancer. You may have already received treatment with other HER2 targeted therapies such as trastuzumab and Perjeta® (pertuzumab).
Ask your doctor if Kadcyla is right for you.
How Kadcyla works
Adjuvant (after surgery) therapy
Kadcyla is used in early HER2-positive breast cancer following surgery.
HER2-positive breast cancer is an aggressive form of breast cancer. Despite having surgery to remove the cancer, it may recur, or come back. Your doctor will look at a variety of factors, such as lymph node status, hormone receptor status, tumour size and grade, and others, to determine if the cancer you have has a high likelihood of coming back. An explanation of these terms are available to download in the What does my pathology report mean? patient booklet by clicking here.
Your doctor may prescribe Kadcyla after surgery if your breast cancer has a high likelihood of coming back. The goal of adjuvant treatment is to kill cancer cells that may be left in your breast or in the rest of your body after surgery.
All medicines have side effects. Sometimes they are serious and sometimes they are not. Go to the Consumer Medicine Information by clicking here for more information on what to expect during treatment with Kadcyla.
The Kadcyla in early breast cancer booklet has more information on what to expect during and after treatment with Kadcyla.
Advanced breast cancer
Clinical studies have shown that Kadcyla helps to control the growth and spread of advanced HER2-positive breast cancer.
Kadcyla helps most people with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer but it may have unwanted side effects in some people. All medicines have side effects. Sometimes they are serious and sometimes they are not. The Kadcyla patient booklet has more information on what to expect during treatment with Kadcyla or go to the Consumer Medicine Information by clicking here.
How to access Kadcyla
Kadcyla is fully funded for those who meet pre-defined criteria. Ask your doctor for more information.
If you have health insurance, carefully check what’s covered — every health insurance provider has different rules and benefits that cover cancer treatment, surgery, tests and appointments. Roche also offer support through a Cost Share Programme.
The Kadcyla Cost Share Programme
Offers assistance with the cost of your medicine. The total amount you will pay for Kadcyla is capped. Once a patient has reached the cap, Roche will provide ongoing Kadcyla at no cost. However, other costs such as doctor fees and administration costs will still apply.
For more information on the Kadcyla Cost Share Programme, talk to your doctor.
Ready to take the next step
Making decisions about treatment options involves working through the advantages and disadvantages, so you can decide what may work best for you and your loved ones.
Because every situation is different, it’s important to speak to your doctor to find out if Kadcyla is right for you.
Talking to your doctor about Kadcyla
To help you in this process, we’ve put together a discussion guide to help you begin a conversation with your doctor. Print it off, take it along to your next appointment, and take notes in the spaces provided.
For further information about private treatment providers click here.
You can also talk to your current doctor about referral to a private doctor or treatment centre.
To learn more about how medicines become available in New Zealand, click here.
The following resources contain useful information on Kadcyla such as what it is for, how it works, things to consider before starting treatment and what to expect during treatment including side effects.