Any sign of hope when it comes to finding the cure for cancer is a good sign. One of these signs was discovered by a group of scientists in Europe which may have found a breakthrough for breast cancer. This type of cancer is the most common one in women. Namely, about one in eight of the women in the US will develop this disease in their lifetime. However, this clinical experiment may have discovered a way to eliminate this awful disease once and for all.
The Breast Cancer Breakthrough
Professor Nigel Bundred presented a research at the European Breast Cancer Conference taking place in Amsterdam, and it revealed that their research consisted of tests for effectiveness of the drugs Lapatinib and Herceptin.
The two drugs aren’t anything new in the treatment of breast cancer however up to this point the drugs have been used separately. For the research on the other hand, the drugs were combined together before the surgery and after chemotherapy. The end results showed that these two drugs, when combined, can potentially eliminate types of breast cancer in just 11 days. How amazing is that?
The scientists were funded by Cancer Research UK, and they aimed to use these drugs to eliminate and fight a protein by the name of HER2 (short for Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2). This protein is known to affect the division and growth of the cancer cells, and is also more likely to return than any other cancer type.
What makes this treatment one of the best so far is that it completely eliminates the need for surgery and chemotherapy. There are no unwanted side-effects like fatigue, vomiting or hair-loss since this treatment is less impactful on the body. Plus, chemotherapy is not always effective and it isn’t the right choice for some patients, so any kind of alternative cure and medicine are always welcomed.
Results of the study
There were 257 with HER2 positive breast cancer who participated into the study. Half of them were put on the drug combo, while the other group was the control one. 11% participants who were on the drug combo had no cancer cells after 2 weeks, while 17% had dramatically shrunken tumors. The control group was given Herceptin. They all had traces of cancer cells, and only 3% of this group showed drop in tumor size. The combo apparently showed a major effect on the breast cancer cells, as opposed to the drugs being used on their own.
However, there is one issue and it is that the licensing of Herceptin involves rules which approve the use of the medicine alongside chemotherapy, but no alone. There are hopes that the results of this study are going to change those rules as well.
More work is needed, however, this is a major step in the fight against the deadliest diseases. The improvements in medicine show clear signs that this will happen soon.