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What is Kanjinti (trastuzumab-anns)?

Kanjinti (trastuzumab-anns) is an engineered biologic medication that is “biosimilar” to Herceptin. Biosimilar medications are approved based on the similarity of their action to approved medications.

Kanjinti was recently approved for use in patients with HER2+ breast cancer, to be used either alone or in combination with other medicines. HER2+ breast cancer is characterized by tumors that overproduce a specific molecule known as human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, or HER2.

Kanjinti can be used against metastatic breast cancer or as adjuvant therapy after initial breast cancer treatment.1 Metastatic breast cancer refers to advanced breast cancer that has already spread to other parts of the body. Adjuvant therapy keeps cancer from recurring after initial treatment, like surgery.2

Kanjinti is not available in generic forms.

What are the ingredients in Kanjinti?

The active ingredient in Kanjinti is trastuzumab.3

How does Kanjinti work?

Kanjinti is one of several monoclonal antibodies used to treat breast cancer. Our bodies naturally produce antibodies, which are immune factors that act against bacteria, viruses, and other foreign organisms that invade and pose a threat to our health. Drugmakers have engineered a variety of antibodies to target the mechanisms that cause certain diseases, including metastatic breast cancer.

Certain breast cancer cells have large numbers of molecules called human epidermal growth factor receptor-2, or HER2, on their cell surfaces. These molecules stimulate abnormally fast cell growth. Like Herceptin, Kanjinti binds to and blocks these molecules, also killing the cancerous cells that carry them.4

Since Kanjinti works only with tumors with high levels of HER2, your doctor will test your tumor for it before prescribing this medication.

What are the possible side effects of Kanjinti?

Common side effects with Kanjinti include4:

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Infection
  • Heart problems
  • Insomnia
  • Cough
  • Rash

In some patients, Kanjinti may cause more harmful, sometimes life-threatening side effects.
These include4:

  • Serious heart problems, including heart failure
  • Severe lung damage
  • Life-threatening reactions to the infusion
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Dangerously low levels of white blood cells

Kanjinti has been shown to harm fetuses, so it is important not to become pregnant or breastfeed while you are taking it. This is not a complete list of all potential side effects of Kantinji. For more information, consult your doctor or healthcare provider. If you notice any new or worsening side effects, contact your doctor or healthcare provider immediately.

Things to note about Kanjinti

Before taking Kanjinti, tell your doctor if you4:

  • Are allergic to trastuzumab or mouse proteins
  • Have or have had heart disease
  • Have or have had lung disease, a tumor in your lungs, or difficulty breathing
  • Are being treated with other chemotherapy medicines, since some medications don’t mix well with Kanjinti
  • Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you are taking while on Kanjinti because it doesn’t mix well with certain medicines. It is important for doctors to test your heart function before and regularly during therapy with Kanjinti since it can cause serious heart problems.

Dosing information

Kanjinti is given through a vein in your arm via intravenous infusion. It must be administered by a healthcare provider at a medical office. The first infusion is given over 90 minutes, to be sure you are tolerating the medication well. After that, it can be given over 30 minutes.4

For metastatic breast cancer, the initial dose of Kanjinti is 4mg/kg over 90 minutes, followed by weekly doses of 2mg/kg over 30 minutes.4

When used alone, as adjuvant therapy, Kanjinti is given initially as an 8mg/kg dose infused over 90 minutes followed by a 6mg/kg dose every 3 weeks, given over 30-90 minutes.4

Kanjinti is often given in conjunction with other chemotherapy medications. It should not be used for more than 52 weeks.4

For more information about Kanjinti, read the complete prescribing information.

Written by: Editorial Team | Last reviewed: July 2019.
  1. FDA Approves Amgen And Allergan's KANJINTI™ (trastuzumab-anns), A Biosimilar To Herceptin® (trastuzumab). Amgen. June 13, 2019. Available at: https://www.amgen.com/media/news-releases/2019/06/fda-approves-amgen-and-allergans-kanjinti-trastuzumabanns-a-biosimilar-to-herceptin-trastuzumab/ Accessed July 26, 2019.
  2. Adjuvant therapy: Treatment to keep cancer from returning. Mayo Clinic. Updated November 3, 2018. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/adjuvant-therapy/art-20046687 Accessed January 21, 2019.
  3. Adjuvant therapy: Treatment to keep cancer from returning. Mayo Clinic. Updated November 3, 2018. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cancer/in-depth/adjuvant-therapy/art-20046687 Accessed January 21, 2019.
  4. Prescribing Information. Amgen Inc. June 2019. Available at: https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2019/761073s000lbl.pdf Accessed July 26, 2019.