Trop-2 Antibody-Drug Conjugates for Metastatic Breast Cancer

What are antibody-drug conjugates?

Special antibody drugs are designed to target certain cancer cells. Antibody-drug conjugates are a combination of an antibody therapy and a chemotherapy drug. Combining these into one drug allows the targeted delivery of the chemotherapy to specific cancer cells.

What are Trop-2 antibody-drug conjugates?

Most breast cancers have cells that express the protein Trop-2.

Sacituzumab govitecan (Trodelvy) is a Trop-2 antibody-drug conjugate. It combines a Trop-2 antibody and the chemotherapy drug SN-38. This combination allows the targeted delivery of SN-38 to cancer cells that express Trop-2.

Sacituzumab govitecan (Trodelvy) and metastatic breast cancer treatment

Sacituzumab govitecan is FDA-approved for the treatment of some HER2-negative metastatic breast cancers.

It can be used to treat hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancers that have already been treated with hormone therapy in either the early or metastatic breast cancer setting and with at least 2 other drug therapies in the metastatic setting.

It can also be used to treat metastatic triple negative breast cancers that have already been treated with at least 2 drug therapies (at least one in the metastatic setting).

Compared to chemotherapy, sacituzumab govitecan may give people with HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer more time before the cancer worsens and may improve survival [65-67].


For a summary of research studies on sacituzumab govitecan and metastatic breast cancer treatment, visit the Breast Cancer Research Studies section.

Learn more about treatment for metastatic breast cancer.

Learn about emerging areas in the treatment for metastatic breast cancer.

Learn more about triple negative breast cancer.

How is sacituzumab govitecan given?

Sacituzumab govitecan is given through an IV into a vein.

Side effects of sacituzumab govitecan

Before you begin treatment with sacituzumab govitecan, talk with your health care provider about possible side effects and how to manage them.

Side Effects

Sacituzumab govitecan

Possible side effects include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anemia (low red blood cell counts), hair loss, constipation and rash.

Sacituzumab govitecan increases the risk of having a low white blood cell count. Your blood cell counts will be monitored while taking sacituzumab govitecan.

Adapted from select sources [66,68].

Ashley Fernandez, living with metastatic breast cancer

“What keeps me going is my new normal. My life with cancer is completely different, I know I have it and I live with it every single day but it doesn’t take over every single day.”

Treatment guidelines for metastatic breast cancer

Although the exact treatment for metastatic breast cancer varies from person to person, guidelines help make sure high-quality care is given. These guidelines are based on the latest research and agreement among experts.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) are respected organizations that regularly review and update their guidelines.

In addition, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has treatment overviews.

Talk with your health care team about which treatment guidelines they follow.

Monitoring metastatic breast cancer

You’ll be monitored (checked) regularly with scans to see if the cancer is responding to treatment. If the treatment is no longer working, or you’re having a lot of side effects, your health care provider will change your treatment or discuss other options.

Learn more about how metastatic breast cancer is monitored.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials offer the chance to try new treatments and possibly benefit from them.

Many clinical trials are available. Some are available as the first treatment for metastatic breast cancer. Others are for treatments later in the disease course. Consider joining a clinical trial when you’re newly diagnosed, when your oncologist is considering changing treatments or when there are limited treatment options.

Susan G. Komen® Patient Care Center

If you or a loved one needs information or resources about clinical trials, the Patient Care Center can help. Contact the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636 or email

Se habla español.

Metastatic Trial Search

The Metastatic Trial Search is a web-based clinical trial matching tool that can help you find clinical trials that fit your needs. You can also register to receive Trial Alerts.

Learn more about clinical trials for people with metastatic breast cancer.

Learn what Komen is doing to help people find and participate in breast cancer clinical trials, including trials supported by Komen.

Financial assistance

Costs related to metastatic breast cancer care can quickly become a financial burden. Dealing with finances and insurance can be overwhelming. Cancer or its treatments may also keep you or your partner from working as much as you used to, which can affect your income.

Many cancer centers have financial counselors who can discuss insurance and cost coverage with you.

Learn about insurance plans and prescription drug assistance programs.

Learn about other financial assistance programs.

Komen Financial Assistance Program

Susan G. Komen® created the Komen Financial Assistance Program to help those struggling with the costs of breast cancer treatment by providing financial assistance to eligible individuals.

To learn more about this program and other helpful resources, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or email

Se habla español.


  • Do you need help with a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis? We’re here for you. The Komen Patient Care Center is your trusted, go-to source for timely, accurate breast health and breast cancer information, services and resources. Our navigators offer free, personalized support to patients, caregivers and family members, including education, emotional support, financial assistance, help accessing care and more. Get connected to a Komen navigator by contacting the Breast Care Helpline at 1-877-465-6636 or email to get started. All calls are answered Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m to 7 p.m. ET and Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. Se habla español.
  • We offer an online support community through our closed Komen Metastatic Breast Cancer (Stage IV) Group. The Facebook group provides a place where those living with metastatic breast cancer, and those who love them, can find support, friendship and information. Click the link above or visit Facebook and search for Komen Metastatic Breast Cancer (Stage IV) Group and request to join.
  • Our free MBC Impact Series provides people living with metastatic breast cancer and their loved ones a safe, collaborative space to gather information related to metastatic breast cancer and discover practical resources to help make decisions for improved physical and emotional health. To learn more and register visit
  • Our Real Pink podcast series covers many relevant topics for people living with metastatic breast cancer and caregivers.
  • Our fact sheets, booklets and other education materials offer additional information.

Updated 03/25/24


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