Side effects of Trastuzumabab Emtansine (Herceptin Kadcyla)

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Morning, diagnosed with BC in 2015. Had mastectomy, rt and FEC T, 6 cycles then on to Tamoxifen. 5 yrs no symptoms then gastrointestinal problems in early 2021 which led to diagnosis of metastatic BC in December 2021. Had chemo again this time docetaxel,  6 cycles plus Phesgo injections ongoing with addition of denosumab since feb 2022. Had hoped this first line of treatment would hold for a couple of years but tumour markers have been rising since September so about to switch to trastuzumab emtansine (Herceptin and Kadcyla). Anyone tried this combo? Anyone any feedback on side effects? Kadcyla is a chemo but apparently not as harsh as docetaxel. Thanks

  • Hi  

    I haven't had this combination of drugs but I noticed that your post hadn't had any replies yet. Responding to you will 'bump' it back to the top of the discussion list.

    While you're waiting for replies, if you haven't already, you could use the search function to look for previous posts which mention trastuzumab emtansine.


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  • Hi Roobieerants I am very similar to you, I was diagnosed with BC in 2015 and had a recurrence 5 years later which has gone to my bones. I did chemo and then Phesgo but had progression to lymph nodes in chest so they started me on Kadcyla on 9 Dec 22, am about to have my 3rd one this Friday. Like you I was worried about the side effects as Docetaxal was awful for me.  I am pleased to say so far so good, a little tired for the first 2 days and a couple of instances of slight nausea but nothing like the other chemo. I am hoping it stays like that, hope its the same for you.

  • Hi Roobieerants, I too was diagnosed with BC in 2015 and then 6 yrs later I had a recurrence and it had gone to my bones. I did chemo and then Phesgo but had progression in lymph nodes so they put me on Kadcyla. I had my first one 9 Dec 22 and about to have my third one on Friday. Like you I was worried about the side effects as I suffered badly on Docetaxal but it's nowhere near as bad as Docetaxal, Just a little tired first couple of days and a couple of instances of slight nausea but apart from that all good so far and hoping it stays that way. Everyone reacts differently and I hope you find it much easier.

  • Hi,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me, wow your journey is very similar to mine. That's reassuring,  I'd hoped that it wouldn't be as bad as docetaxel otherwise I'd be heading into the territory of balancing quality of life over the time and I'm hoping I'm not there just yet!

    The previous combination was supposed to be the best one so I'm trying not to build my expectations of this 2nd line but if you have no hope you have nothing  do you so I'm keeping my fingers crossed  that it gives me another 6 months or more.

    Hope you are continuing to manage the side effects okay and really hope this is the combo for us both!


  • Was on Kadcyla for 2 ½ years and it was completely manageable, pretty flexible too in terms of treatment intervals. No hospitalisation for eg low neutrophils, no probs with hair falling out (bliss), bone and liver mets stabilised.

    But I did eventually develop brain secondaries. Now on another Trastusumab targeted chemo called Enhertu, which has been impacting brain secondaries very well. 

    So Kadcyla worked for me for a good while. But watch out for headaches or other possibly brain-related symptoms. Enhertu is a slug of a drug! 

    With hope and love, D 

  • Wow! Thank you so much for getting back to me. 2 and a half years, that gives me some real hope! 

    Cam I ask you, did you start off with the Phesgo too and if so how long did you get on that? I'm not sure it even worked for me...I think it was simply the docetaxel that did the bulk of the job and as soon as it was just Phesgo my cancer started rumbling again. I've only had 6 months since the docetaxel ended and my tumour markers and cancer symptoms have been rearing up for the last 5!

    Thanks again, really appreciate the feedback. 



  • Hi. I've had breast cancer since 2008 which after a recurrence 2013 went secondary in 2018. Each time there was small growth they changed the medication. I had Docetaxel and Phesgo which I'd also hoped would be long lasting but did not work. I've been on Kadcyla since April 2022. There are minor side effects (bruise easily, bleeding gums when cleaning teeth and blood in nose if I need to blow it) but am able to do everything I want. Good luck with this treatment. It is definitely one of the better ones I've had with regard to side effects and leading a normal life,

  • Hi, 

    That's really good to hear, really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with me. It is comforting to hear how long you've had so far from Kadcyla too. I know its different for us all but it is still nice to hear of real people out there who are actually benefiting...all my consultant gan do is provide stats...which we are not!

    Thank you again

    Good luck with your treatment journey.