European scientists have finally discovered a real breakthrough for the most common cancer type in women- breast cancer!
It is estimated that one in 8 women will develop this cancer type at some point in her life, but now, scientists from Amsterdam may have provided hope: their discovery may save millions of lives.
At the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam, professor Nigel Bundred presented the findings of a recent research which served to evaluate the effects of a couple of drugs, Herceptin (a.k.a trastuzumab) and Lapatinib.
These medicaments have been used in the treatment of cancer already, but this was the first time they were used together in combination, before any other conventional treatments, like surgery or chemo.
Scientists have found that this combination effectively destroys breast cancer in only 11 days!
The research was funded by the Cancer Research UK, and the goal was to use these two drugs in order to fight against a protein known as HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) which influences the division and development of cancer cells, and there are more chances that it will return than other cancer types.
What’s best about this method is that it completely leaves out chemo and surgery, and their temporary side-effects as well, like hair loss, fatigue, and nausea.
We are becoming aware that chemo is far from a beneficial treatment, so it is more than welcome to avoid this treatment and try some other alternatives.
Researchers involved 257 women in the study, all with HER2 positive breast cancer. Half of them were the control group, and received only Herceptin, while the other half used the combination of these two drugs.
The results were as follows: 11% of those women who took the drug combo had no cancer cells remaining within two weeks and 17% of cases featured dramatically shrunken tumors.
In comparison to the control group, they had 0% with no trace of cancer cells and only 3% showed a drop in tumor size.
Therefore, the combination of the drugs has extremely beneficial effects in the case of breast cancer, as opposed to their results if used on their own. Yet, the issue is that licensing allows its use only alongside chemo, and not alone. Yet, these findings may contribute for a change.
This research is a great step forward in the fight against this deadly disease, but these findings need to be examined further on.
Yet, it provides hope that scientists are working hard to find the cure, so we are eagerly waiting for new improvements on the field!