Professor Nigel Bundred at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam just revealed that they have tested the effectiveness of two life-saving drugs, Herceptin and Lapatinib.
These two drugs are commonly used in breast cancer treatment independently, but this is the first time they’ve been used in combination. What they found will amaze you, they were able to eliminate some types of breast cancer in under 11 days.
Funded by Cancer Research UK, They primed these drugs to combat a specific protein called HER2. (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) Which affects the growth and division of cancerous cells. It’s also more likely to return than most other cancer types.
The primary thing that makes this treatment so appealing is the fact that it eliminates the need for traditional methods, such as chemotherapy and surgery, which both have serious side effects. The side effects of chemo (hair loss, vomiting and fatigue) are also avoided, causing this treatment to be far less detrimental to the body. Chemo is known for its ineffective treatment, so any possible replacements and alternatives are welcomed with open arms.
257 women with HER2 positive breast cancer were chosen for this study, half were put on the drug combo and the other half were put into the control group. What they found was incredible. 11% of the women had no cancer cells remaining within two weeks and 17% of women had dramatically shrunken tumors.
When comparing this to the control group who were only given Herceptin, the results are dramatic. 0% of this group had no trace of cancer cells and only 3% of the women showed a drop in tumor size. It is clear that the two drugs combined have a major effect on breast cancer cells as opposed to being used individually.
The main problem currently facing people attempting to get this treatment is that Herceptin’s licensing makes it only available for those already undergoing chemotherapy. They hope that the results of the study may eventually change this.
There is still a long road on the path to a full cure for one of the world’s deadliest diseases but this is a huge step forward. Medical science continues to advance & improve every year, so it is entirely possible this will happen sooner than think.