herceptin and recurrence.

I was just wondering how many people have had herceptin and had a recurrence and at what stage ie during herceptin or after it has finished. I wish they would hurry up with the results.

Can only assume from no replies that this is super duper news!!!

See the link below. It doesn’t answer your actual question, but is some american research recently published showing a reduction in recurrence of 24% due to taking herceptin

Anecdotally, I have heard that the most likely time to get a recurrence if you’ve had herceptin is during the two year period after it finishes. If you can get to the two year point ok your chances of staying ok are much higher. I haven’t seen any research to back this up.


Hi Hatty

I finished herceptin December 09 and this is something I have wondered about so I do hope that by having no replies this means ‘super duper’ news for you too.

Debbie x

thank you yes i had seen this and just wondering sort of my own research through this web site as to how well herceptin was working as the full results still arent out although due out soon i believe.

Deep blue, great news that is 2 years clear then the worse period is over for you I have only just started and have just had 3rd, im hoping they will give it longer by the time im ready for finishing?

I finished herceptin Dec 08, so over two years on and OK

excellent news road runner for you to.


I’m not any sort of mathematician, but I think it means that if you’re on Herceptin, it improves the chances of total success by nearly 40%, which is a big number and very impressive.

thank you for that not sure that i fully understand the numbers that well either. Going by my post its looking good though as no one is reporting anything much about recurrence.

I finished herceptin in November 2008 and although I worry a lot about it returning, I seem to be doing ok.


I think what rings alarm bells for me is the advice that you should “continue taking Herceptin for 12 months or until disease recurs, whichever is sooner” or words to that effect, as written in the NICE guidelines. The wording is very alarming as it IMPLIES that recurrence during those 12 months is really common, but if you read it more dispassionately there is absolutely no indication of the likelihood or not of it recurring during that time. Still, you’d think they could be a bit more careful with how they choose their words, don’t you think?

i must say as im coming to the end of my chemo my next tax will be my last i have been more scared than ever before. I know herceptin will keep on going for 12 months but it just doesn’t kick the fear away. Ive been told im high risk for recurrence but in the next breath an excellent prognosis to die of old age. Cant work it out in my head. Im slightly different to everyone else on here as i am cup cancer and they have never found my primary site. It presumed breast cancer and my lymph nodes have shown on the scan as to be likely scar tissue now. Im due to have them out in May, they are not taking the breast because they cant find anything. I have radiotherapy to follow and they call this there buttons and brazes approach. Any thoughts would be welcome on the subject of herceptin and recurrence.
Its the things like Herceptin doesn’t protect against the brain as it doesn’t cross over the blood barrier. Tykerb does but we cant have it to protect us. agggg some days i drive myself mad usually straight after chemo, when i start feeling better it disappears into normal life again. As i say though not many reporting any recurrence on Herceptin. Trials are saying that if proven they may leave us on Herceptin for longer. Just waiting to see those trial results.

Hi Hatty

I can see from your post how anxious you are about her2 and herceptin. It must be disconcerting not being able to find the primary bc in your breast. I think there is another forum member in the same position. Have you read any of the American her2 forums? I often pop on as they have different treatments and perspectives, there is quite a long thread on there about recurrence. If you google her2 support, you will find the main forum. Of course there is always a health warning with theses forums because they have diff treatments and you might not always get good news.

I think it will be many years before they fully understand how beneficial herceptin is in the long term. But I am thankful it had been licensed for primary bc before I was dx.


CM, am SO with you about the wording thing. I don’t think that the medical profession understand that we go away and analyse their every word. They do not take into account our vulnerability. Equally, I suppose, we should try and be less neurotic, but it is difficult not to be when it is your life they are talking about.

Hatty, i feel that same as you. Have had 3 herceptin, and just about to have 4th on Monday, my first one without the chemo. I am ER positive as well, and I don’t know if that means, 2 types, therefore double the chance of it coming back. I have resisted trawling the Internet so far. My mx is next week, and I will ask my surgeon, when all the final histology results are there. I don’t think any of us will ever get the completed reassurance we all crave, but all the same, I would like to know what I can expect realistically.

Is it the case with BC, that the longer you go without recurrence, then the better your chances, or are different types different? If you have made it 5 years, are you likely to do 10??


Thanks for the replies ladies, im one that likes to know the ins and outs of everything and face the fear head on. Mad i know. The recurrence risk is highest as i understand in the first 2 years of completing Herceptin. I believe thats why the trials are looking at whether we would benefit by being on it longer. I dont know about positive hormones as im negative but believe its better to be positive as you have more treatments to go at. Dont take my word for it.
Debs the American forum has been great but the trouble is we cant get the same drugs thanks to NICE how can they call them Nice. Please keep the chat coming it helps to know how other people think and deal with the whole risk of HER 2 and if we can help each other that cant be bad.

HI hatty
I have just had my last herceptin last week. The latest trials about herceptin are to see if it can be reduced not extended for primary BC. I was asked to be part of the trial to see if 9 doses is as effective as 18 doses. I turned it down and do not regret it.


Thanks yes i new they were also looking at that but they seem to be looking at the possible 2 years. I think i would prefer 12 months as opposed to the 9 months as long as our hearts stay strong for it. I do hope your keeping well and very best wishes.

Hi all
Just found this thread and thought how it captured how I am feeling. I have had 6 herceptin with 12 more to go. Have had a lumpectomy, no node involvement, FEC chemo and a session of rads before and am on a 5 year regime of hormone tabs. Want totally to feel I am in a good place and believe me I do acknowledge all my earlier diagnosis / treatment ( yuk as some of it was) should make me feel so - my hospital an clinical staff are great. many of what I see and read of what others have been through and are still experiencing makes what I feel somewhat trival.This journey is doable in my mind if I can hold onto the thought that I will have some quality time beyond it. Too much info is a bad thing they say but I need to get my head around the premise that the treatment will not be short lived ( sorry)
I dont think there is a definite answer to this
Thanks to all of you who respond -

techo x

technician, good to hear from you and im sure we must all feel the same at some point or another its the uncertainty with cancer and we are all in the same boat, yet none of us are the same. We just dont know and that is what makes it so scary for me.