SUS incorporates high-cost medicine for patients with metastatic breast cancer
The trastuzumab drug ends to be incorporated more broadly by the Unified Health System - SUS, through the Ministry of Health. This medicine, which costs R $ 10,000 per dose, is used in the treatment of breast cancer subtype HER2 +, the most aggressive and affects one-fifth of women with the disease.
Currently, more than 3,000 people use this drug for the SUS, which it provides for patients with early and locally advanced breast cancer. Now, trastuzumab can also be obtained by metastatic patients (when the disease has spread to other parts of the body). The medicine can be used for up to 180 days.
Produced from a protein in the immune system, trastuzumab is a type of medicine known as a monoclonal antibody. The method can be used in women with tumors expressing the HER2 protein. Tumors of the breast that have this protein on its surface tend to spread more aggressively. "Trastuzumab works by binding to this HER2 protein, slowing that growth," says oncologist Vladmir. In addition, it stimulates the immune system to fight the disease more forcefully.
Trastuzumab is given intravenously once a week, usually in combination with chemotherapy. Side effects may occur in the first few doses, including fever, chills, weakness, nausea, vomiting, cough, diarrhea, and headache.
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