The most common cancer for women throughout the world is breast cancer. The best way to raise the survival rates in these patients is early detection. Although there are different treatments available for neutralization of tumors, more than 500,000 women died from breast cancer only in 2011.
The European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam included the presentation of one research by the Cancer Research UK-funded trial, which shows that a pair of drugs can eliminate certain types of breast cancer in only eleven days. According to the new finding, some women with breast cancer might never need chemo.
These two drugs are already commonly used in breast cancer treatment, but this is the first time they had been combined together and used before surgery and chemotherapy. According to their results, they were able to eliminate some types of breast cancer in only 11 days.
The research was funded by Cancer Research UK and aimed to use these drugs so that scientists could combat a protein called HER2 (Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2) which affects the growth and division of cancer cells. It’s also more likely to return than other cancer types.
What also makes this treatment so appealing is the fact that it eliminates the need for chemotherapy and surgery. The temporary side effects like hair loss, vomiting and fatigue are also avoided, making treatment less impactful on the body. Chemo is not entirely effective, nor is it the right choice for a lot of patients, so any alternatives are welcomed.
257 women with HER2-positive breast cancer were involved in the study. Half of the women were put on the drug combination, while the other half were used as the control group. The results? For those who took the drug combination, 11% had no more cancer cells within two weeks, and 17% had significantly smaller tumors. Meanwhile, the control group had 0% with no cancer cells, and 3% with smaller tumors.
As it stands, however, Herceptin’s licensing is such that it can only be made available with chemotherapy. As many of us know, chemotheraphy can wreak havoc on our bodies, causing vomiting, hair loss, pain, and fatigue. Hopefully, the findings from Bundred’s research will change the way this drug can be used.