The most full-scale attack on breast cancer is currently underway. The tried-and-true treatment mechanisms – via hormone therapy, chemotherapy and radiation – are still valuable options for prolonging life. But these treatments are often not enough to keep cancer at bay, and can also lead to the collateral damage of healthy cells.
2018 marks the year that targeted therapies are most widely used to treat breast cancer – a disease that kills over 40,000 American women per year. A variety of new targeted treatments, such as PARP inhibitors for patients with specific mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2, and novel CD K 4/6 inhibitors for ER-Positive/HER-2-negative breast cancer are having positive outcomes in clinical trials. In addition novel HER-2 targeted agents continue to show benefit in this subgroup of HER-2-positive patients. Experts believe the cumulative results from these studies are pointing to an increasing survival rate, and perhaps the eventual end of chemotherapy for a significant population of breast cancer patients.