KeepHealthCare.ORG – Breakthrough breast cancer drug Herceptin cures disease ‘twice as quick’ as previously thought
Women with aggressive breast cancer can be effectively cured in half the time compared to current treatment, minimising harmful side effects, researchers have said.
A new trial of patients suffering from HER2-positive breast cancer found survival rates were almost identical among those given six months of therapy compared with a year.
Around one in five cases of breast cancer is characterised by an excess of the HER2 protein, which has traditionally made affected women harder to treat.
But Trastuzumab, commonly known by its brand name Herceptin, has significantly improved survival for HER2-positive patients since 2005.
However, the medication can prompt a range of side effects ranging from high temperatures to heart problems, which often become more severe the longer treatment goes on.
In the new study, to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, researchers at Cambridge University examined the outcomes of 4,088 women with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer who were being treated with Herceptin.