bone mets and herceptin

Hi everyone
Haven’t been on for a while. Still trying to get my head around everything. I am 45 diagnosed with isolated bone met on spine in feb 2009. Originally had breast cancer 2002 . I have no back symptoms and all blood tests normal now so still a bit of a shock cos i feel so well. Had ovaries out on femara and oral ibandronic acid. However i recently found out that the original tumour 2002 would have benefitted fron herceptin ( didn’t routinely test then )I’ve asked oncologist if this could be used now but she said it wasn’t necessary yet. Has anyone else had experience of this ? Also just found new breast lump same breast as before. Had chest ct scan couple of months ago and clear mammo in feb so hopefully be ok waiting another ct scan. Wish life could be normal again more than anything ! x

Hi Angelina,

I think if a bone tumour (spine mets) is found at the time of treatment then herceptin would be given either alongside taxotere, or if a different chemo then herceptin would follow. If your scans are not showing signs of any further spread then normally herceptin would not be given at this stage. As a general rule to receive herceptin you must (obviously) be her2+++ and within 6mths of having received chemo.

If you have just found another breast lump then do go back to your bcn or oncologist and let them know. As you are her2 positive it is possible to have had all the scans you have had and for a new lump to develop in that time. I know that these lumps can occur for all sorts of other reasons such as scar tissue (you don’t mention if you have had surgery)

Angelina - I have re-read this and am not sure if it makes sense so do come back at me with any further questions!


Hi Angelina,

Yup, I wish life would be ‘normal’ again - except that my ‘normal’ life is now one of scans and hospital visits, but the way I look at it on most days is - well if this is what keeps me alive so be it - I like everyone else tho wishes to god I never had this damn thing in the first place.

Anyway I am assuming you are HER 2 positive, in which case you are a candidate for herceptin. Now that you have mets and a new lump, I would be inclined to ask your onc what constitutes ‘necessary yet’ - does that mean she is waiting for more spread or what? I’m not quite sure, and it sounds like you arn’t either. For some of these oncs, the giving of imformation is something that is foreign to them.

I have mets in my spine and I am on permanent herceptin and pamidronate, I am also HER 2 +++.

I suspect you need to know more about your onc’s thinking on things, but in the meantime I hope you can get passed this place, I don’t think any of us really get our heads around anything, so don’t ask too much of yourself.

Take care

Hi Angelina

For info - I was diagnosed with BC in Jan 06, HER+ and I had chemo then I year of Herceptin which finished in Sept 07. I was diagnosed with bone mets hip and one spot on spine(May 08). My consultant said I would just have radio to the areas as they would’nt give chemo at this time-they would save it for later. The oncologist then rang me and gave me Zometa and gave me a choice of having chemo or not, if I had the chemo I could also have Herceptin. I decided to have the chemo (tax 6 months) and am now on Zometa (every 6 weeks) and Herceptin (3 weeks) Scans in May 09 showed no progression at the moment. I don’t know if I made the right decision but half way through the chemo the oncologist said I’d made the right decision as new results for people ‘like me’ were looking good, I didnt asked what the trail was but maybe you could ask your oncologistfor info.

Take Care

Hi everyone,
Thank you so much for your advice. As background i was diagnosed with grade 2 lobular bc 1 lymph node involved in 2002. Had wide local excision , chemo ( which included taxotere as on the TACT trial) radio and 2 yrs of zoladex. I presumed i was HER neg as it took 7 yrs to discover very small bone met and i thought HER + was a faster growing cancer. As i said they didn’t routinely check then but they did check for trial and i found out in feb09 i am HER + . Spoke to hos yesterday. Bringing ct scan forward to couple of weeks time to check breast lump. Haven’t been offered chemo for bone met just ovaries out femara and ibandronic acid. Last 2 scans have shown no change. I will ask onc re herceptin and chemo. My husband is also now awaiting biopsy results from samples taken during recent op. This never ends.! Managing to keep smiling just.