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This NCI Fact Sheet provides information about investigational drugs.

The NCI's drug dictionary provides information about drugs used to treat cancer or cancer-related conditions. 

Provides a database that can be searched by drug name, active ingredient or application number.

breast cancer Drugs

This list includes all drugs that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use as a breast cancer treatment.

Clinical trials study promising new therapies that have not yet been approved by the FDA. 

BCT can help you find a clinical trial that is right for you.





Chemotherapy is systemic drug treatment intended to stop cancer cells from dividing and growing. Chemotherapy is often associated with unpleasant side effects since it targets all rapidly growing cells, in addition to cancer cells.

View Clinical Trials For Chemotherapy

Individual Chemotherapy Drugs

Alkylating Agents

These drugs work by inserting an "alkyl agent" into the DNA structure which prevents cancer cells from dividing.

  • Cytoxan® / Cyclophosphamide
  • Thiotepa


Anthracyclines are antibiotics that attack cancer cells by disrupting DNA and preventing cell division.

  • Adriamycin® / Doxorubicin
  • Doxil® / Liposomal Doxorubicin
  • Ellence® / Epirubicin
  • Novantrone® / Mitoxantrone

Platinum Drugs

Platinum drugs are anti-cancer drugs that contain the metal platinum. They bind to DNA and interfere with the cell's ability to repair itself, eventually leading to cell death.

  • Paraplatin® / Carboplatin
  • Platinol® / Cisplatin


Taxanes inhibit cell growth by stopping cell division. They act by interfering with cellular microtubules, structures that play an important role in many cellular functions, including cell division. Taxanes are often used in combination with other chemotherapy agents.

  • Abraxane® / Paclitaxel Protein-bound
  • Taxol® / Paclitaxel
  • Taxotere® / Docetaxel

Vinca Agents

Navelbine® inhibits cancer cell growth by stopping cell division. It works by interfering with the formation of cellular microtubules, important structures that cells need in order to divide.

  • Navelbine® / Vinorelbine

Other Chemotherapy drugs

  • Adrucil® / Fluorouracil (5-FU)
  • Camptosor® / Irinotecan
  • Gemzar® / Gemcitabine
  • Halaven® / Eribulin
  • Ixempra® / Ixabepilone
  • Methotrexate
  • Temodar® / Temozolomide
  • Topotecan
  • Vincristine
  • Vinblastine
  • Xeloda® / Capecitabine
  • High dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue

Common Chemotherapy Regimens for Early Stage Breast Cancer

  • AC: Adriamycin®, Cytoxan®
  • AC + Taxol®: Adriamycin®, Cytoxan®, Taxol®
  • AC + Taxotere®: Adriamycin®, Cytoxan, Taxotere®
  • CMF: Cytoxan®, Methotrexate, 5-Flourouracil
  • EC: Epirubicin, Cytoxan®
  • FAC: 5-Flourouracil, Adriamycin®, Cytoxan®
  • FEC: 5-Flourouracil, Epirubicin, Cytoxan®
  • TC: Taxotere®, Cytoxan®
  • TAC: Taxotere®, Adriamycin®, Cytoxan®
  • TC: Taxotere®, Carboplatin

Common Chemotherapy Regimens for Metastatic Breast Cancer

  • Taxol® + Xeloda®
  • Taxotere® + Xeloda®
  • Taxotere® + Carboplatin
  • Taxol® + Carboplatin
  • Taxol® + Gemzar®
  • Abraxane® + Xeloda®
  • Abraxane® + Carboplatin
  • Irinotecan + Temozolomide
  • Gemzar® + Carboplatin
  • Ixempra® + Xeloda®




Hormone Therapy

Hormonal therapies are intended to prevent hormone-receptor positive cells from being exposed to the hormones that cause them to grow; they are used in both prevention and treatment. There are three main types of hormone therapies: anti-estrogen drugs, aromatase inhibitors, and ovarian suppressors.

View Clinical Trials For Hormone Therapy

Anti-Estrogen Drugs

Anti-estrogen drugs block the effects of estrogen in the breast by binding to estrogen receptors on tumor cells. By attaching themselves to receptors, anti-estrogens prevent the cell from responding to estrogen's growth-promoting activities. Raloxifene is an anti-estrogen drug approved for prevention of breast cancer by the FDA.

  • Evista® / Raloxifene
  • Fareston® / Toremifine
  • Faslodex® / Fulvestrant
  • Nolvadex® / Tamoxifen

Aromatase Inhibitors

These drugs block aromatase, a molecule required to produce estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors are only effective in postmenopausal women whose ovaries are no longer producing estrogen.

  • Arimidex / Anastrozole
  • Aromasin / Exemestane
  • Femara / Letrozole

Ovarian Suppression

Suppressing the ability of the ovaries to produce estrogen is a viable treatment for estrogen-sensitive breast tumors in premenopausal women.

  • Lupron® / Leuprolide
  • Plenaxis® / Abarelix
  • Suprefact® / Buserlin
  • Zoladex® / Goserelin

Other Endocrine/Hormone Therapy

  • Megace® / Megestrol Acetate




Bisphosphonate Therapy

Bisphosphonate therapy, commonly used for osteoporosis, is also used to treat breast cancer that has spread to the bones. Bisphosphonate therapy is also prescribed for patients who are taking aromatase inhibitors for early stage breast cancer, since in some patients, aromatase inhibitors weaken bone.

View Clinical Trials For Bisphosphonate Therapy

  • Actonel® / Risedronate
  • Aredia® / Pamidronate
  • Boniva® / Ibandronate
  • Fosamex® /Alendronate
  • Xgeva® /Denosumab
  • Zometa® / Zoledronate




Targeted Biological Therapy

Targeted/biological therapies (or immune targeted therapies) focus on blocking the actions of certain normal body proteins that allow cancer cells to grow and divide. These treatments target cancer cells, lessening toxicity and reducing side effects.

View Clinical Trials For Targeted Therapy

  • Afinitor® / Everolimus: Everolimus is a targeted therapy that acts by inhibiting an enzyme involved in cancer cell growth. Everolimus specifically targets a protein kinase enzyme called mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR).
  • Avastin® / Bevacizumab is an anti-angiogenesis targeted therapy. Anti-angiogenesis therapy works by cutting off the blood supply of tumors, which limits tumor growth.
  • Herceptin® / Trastuzumab: Both a targeted and biological therapy, Herceptin® is a monoclonal antibody that specifically attaches to the HER2/neu receptor. Located on the cell surface, the HER2/neu receptor normally binds to a growth-promoting agent. By binding to this receptor, Herceptin® prevents the normal growth factor from signaling the tumor cell to divide.
  • Kadcyla® / T-DM1 (Ado-trastuzumab emtansine): Kadcyla combines Herceptin and a chemotherapy drug (DM1) that interferes with cancer cell growth. Kadcyla delivers Herceptin and DM1 directly to HER2-positive cells, and limits exposure of the rest of the body to the chemotherapy.
  • Lapatinib® / Tykerb targets tumor cells that express the HER2/neu protein. In contrast to Herceptin®, Lapatinib blocks the HER2/neu protein inside the cell rather than at the cell surface.
  • Perjeta® / Pertuzumab: Perjeta works by targeting a different part of the HER2 protein than Herceptin, resulting in further reduction in growth of HER2-positive breast cancer cells.