Just about every person I know has a family member or friend that’s been diagnosed with breast cancer. Which is not surprising consider the fact that nearly 1 in 8 women will be affected by this disease in their lifetime.
And despite considerable advances in medicine- over half a millionwomen died from breast cancer in 2011 alone.
Thankfully- we have some good news coming out of Amsterdam.
According to IFLScience, new research presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam has revealed that a pair of drugs are able to eliminate some types of breast cancers in just 11 days. This surprising finding, which came out of a Cancer Research UK-funded trial, means that some women afflicted with breast cancer may never need to undergo chemotherapy.
Approximately a quarter of women with HER2 positive breast cancer, who were treated with a combination of the targeted drugs lapatinib and trastuzumab before surgery and chemotherapy, saw their tumors shrink significantly or even disappear, according to results from a clinical trial.
Source: The European CanCer Organisation (ECCO). “Combination of lapatinib and trastuzumab shrinks HER2 positive breast cancer significantly in 11 days after diagnosis.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2016.
The IFLScience article goes on to say-
The trial aimed to investigate the effects of Herceptin and Lapatinib, two drugs commonly used during one type of breast cancer treatment, following tumor-removal surgery and conventional chemotherapy. They both work by targeting a protein known as HER2, one that drives the growth of some types of breast cancers, including some particularly aggressive variants.
In this instance, 257 women with HER2-positive breast cancer were given the drug combination after being diagnosed, before surgery was due to take place. Remarkably, 11 percent of the cancers were found to have entirely disappeared within just two weeks, and a further 17 percent of cases featured dramatically shrunken tumors.
Both of these drugs are currently used in the treatment of breast cancer but they had not been used together before this trial. The results were very effective.
This treatment is especially attractive because it does not use chemotherapy or surgery.
There’s still much work and research that needs to be done but this a positive step in the fight against the deadly disease. Hopefully we’re now closer to finding a cure for this devastating disease.