BMJ Case Reports 2014; doi:10.1136/bcr-2013-203400

Metastatic human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2/neu) amplified breast cancer with acute fulminant hepatitis responding to trastuzumab, pertuzumab and carboplatin

  1. Saeed Sadeghi
  1. Department of Hematology & Oncology, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Santa Monica, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mariela N Macias, mmacias{at}
  • Accepted 9 May 2014
  • Published 4 June 2014


A 30-year-old woman presented to an outside hospital with pain in the right upper abdomen. Imaging revealed over 100 liver lesions, the largest measuring 74 mm×71 mm, and multiple lytic bone lesions. An outpatient liver biopsy showed a poorly differentiated adenocarcinoma favouring a breast primary. The tumour was oestrogen and progesterone receptor negative, but human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2/neu) amplified. In her second clinic visit she had decompensated liver failure manifested by new-onset ascites and jaundice. Initially, the chemotherapy plan was for docetaxel, pertuzumab and trastuzumab, but given her severe liver dysfunction we used a combination of carboplatin, pertuzumab and trastuzumab as an inpatient. She was hospitalised for 14 days and eventually discharged with a marked improvement of her symptoms and liver tests. She subsequently completed five outpatient chemotherapy cycles. We showed that carboplatin is a possible alternative to docetaxel when severe liver dysfunction precludes docetaxel's use in combination with pertuzumab and trastuzumab.

Register for free content

The full text of all Editor's Choice articles and summaries of every article are free without registration

The full text of Images in ... articles are free to registered users

Only fellows can access the full text of case reports (apart from Editor's Choice) - become a fellow today, or encourage your institution to, so that together we can grow and develop this resource

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the case reports as they are published, and let us know what you think by commenting on the Editor's blog

Navigate This Article