Scientist in Europe have found a leap forward for breast cancer.
One in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives, but a recent study in Amsterdam have found a way to get rid of it once and for all.
Breast Cancer Breakthrough
Research presented by Professor Nigel Bundred at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam explained that they had tested the effectiveness of a pair of drugs known as Herceptin (a.k.a trastuzumab) and Lapatinib.
These drugs are already used in breast cancer treatments, but this is the first time they were combined and used before surgery and chemotherapy.
They found out that if these two drugs were combined together, they were able to eliminate some types of breast cancer in just 11 days.
The study, which was funded by Cancer Research UK, proposed to use these drugs to 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.
It also has some side effects like hair loss, vomiting and fatigue, 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 selected for the study.
Half of them were put on the drug combo while the other half were a control group.
After two weeks, 11% of the participants receiving the combo had no cancer cells remaining, while another 17% saw drastically reduced tumors.
The control group, which received just Herceptin, saw none of the participants cancer-free and only 3% experiencing a reduction in tumor size.
Clearly, the combination of drugs was powerful.
Unfortunately, Herceptin’s licensing only allows it to be available in conjunction with chemotherapy. Hopefully, the results of this study can change that.