Every day new study pops up showing that we’re one step closer to a cancer cure. Namely, European scientists may have found a breakthrough for breast cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in women. Around 1 in 8 American women will develop it in their lifetime.
The clinical trial led by these scientists could have found a way to eliminate this type of cancer once and for all!
Professor Nigel Bundred presented the research at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam, where he revealed that they had tested the effectiveness of a pair of drugs known as Herceptin (a.k.a trastuzumab) and Lapatinib.
These drugs are already been used in breast cancer treatment, but the research combined them for the first time and used them before surgery and chemotherapy. They discovered that this way, the drugs can eliminate the cancer In just 11 days!
Cancer Research UK funded them to use these drugs to combat a protein called HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) that is responsible for the growth and division of cancer cells.
The amazing thing about this discovery is that it eliminates the necessity of undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. Moreover, this treatment avoids temporary side effects like hair loss, vomiting and fatigue are also avoided, making treatment less impactful on the body. Since chemotherapy is not very effective, nor it is suitable for everyone, any other alternative is better.
The study included 257 women with HER2 positive breast cancer. One half was put on the drug combo and the other half were the control group. Results showed that those who were given the combination, 11% had no cancer cells remaining within two weeks and 17% of cases featured dramatically shrunken tumors.
On the other hand, the group that was only given Herceptin was found to have 0% with no trace of cancer cells and only 3% showed a drop in tumor size, which makes it clear that when the drugs work combined have an incredible potential.
Sadly, Herceptin’s licensing makes it only available for use alongside chemotherapy and not alone. Hopefully, this discovery will change that.