HER2 Gene Overexpression HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) is a gene found in every cell of the human body, and its purpose is to help a cell divide. The HER2 gene tells a cell to form the HER2 protein on the cell surface. HER2 protein then receives a signal to send a message to the center of the cell, known as the nucleus, that it is time to divide. The HER2 protein is also called the HER2 receptor.
Each healthy breast cell contains two copies of the HER2 gene, which contribute to normal cell function. When a change occurs that causes too many copies of the HER2 gene to appear in a cell, the gene, in turn, causes too many HER2 proteins, or receptors, to appear on the cell surface. This is referred to as HER2 protein overexpression. Patients who are considered HER2-positive have cancer that grows and spreads more rapidly.
HER2 protein overexpression affects about 25% of breast cancer patients and results in a more aggressive form of the disease and earlier disease reappearance; in these cases the disease may not be as responsive to standard therapies. The HER2 status of a tumor is determined by testing tissue removed during a biopsy or surgery.
Herceptin may be considered by breast cancer patients whose tumors over-express the HER2 gene (Nihira 2003).
I remember my Surgical oncologist saying that I may be prescribed with Herceptin, which could potentially affect my heart in the long term.
Based on the chest xtray, he said my heart seems to be enlarged, so he ordered a heart scan to see the risks for heart complications.
Based on some research we have done, that all cancer cells (whether it is breast, liver, bone, brain cancer cells) are said to be made of some kind of protein, and biologically our bodies produce pancreatic enzymes that digests proteins in our body. Which lead to an alternative treatment called Enzyme Theraphy, a protocol said to increase our pancreatic enzymes thru a rigid diet and supplements of pancreatic enzymes and okra peptins.
Definition of Herceptin according to the National Cancer Institute:
A type of monoclonal antibody used in cancer detection or therapy. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-produced substances that can locate and bind to cancer cells. Trastuzumab blocks the effects of the growth factor protein HER2, which transmits growth signals to breast cancer cells.
Monoclonal antibody therapy is the use of monoclonal antibodies (or mAb) to specifically bind to target cells. This may then stimulate the patient’s immune system to attack those cells.
For example: mAb therapy (Herceptin) can be used to destroy malignant tumor cells and prevent tumor growth by blocking specific cell receptors, such as HER-2.