Lapatinib is a drug used for targeted therapy in women with breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body. It may also be known by its brand name Tyverb®.
This type of drug works by targeting a protein called HER2 which is found in some breast cancers and causes the cancer cells to grow. The drug works by stopping the cells growing and dividing to spread. It is given alongside other drugs to treat breast cancer including chemotherapy.
Lapatinib is not currently recommended by NICE which means that it is not routinely available on the NHS but may be given as part of a clinical trial. It is important you speak to your healthcare team before making any changes to your treatment or taking new medicines.
Lapatinib and brain tumours
Some women with breast cancer can develop brain metastases. A phase two clinical trial was carried out to test the effect of lapatinib in women with HER2 positive breast cancer who had developed a secondary brain tumour. The study recommended that further research be carried out.
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