While an estimate, around 1 in 8 American women will develop this debilitating disease at a certain point in their lifetime.
A research presented by Nigel Bundred at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam studied the effectiveness of Herceptin and Lapatinib, two drugs for breast cancer and other solid tumours.
Although these drugs are often combined in breast cancer treatment, it is the first time they had been used together and used prior to surgery and chemo. The results have shown that they have the ability to eliminate certain types of breast cancer in only 11 days.
This research is funded by Cancer Research UK and its purpose is to use these drugs to fight off HER2, a protein which affects the growth and division of cancerous cells. This growth factor has higher chances of coming back when compared to other cancer types.
Another thing that makes this treatment promising is the fact that it eliminates the need for surgery and chemotherapy. It doesn’t affect the body like chemotherapy, meaning that hair loss, fatigue, vomiting, and similar side effects are avoided.
The study involved 257 women with HER2 positive breast cancer, half of which were given the aforementioned drug combination and the other half were the control group. It has been found that 11 percent of those on the drug had no cancer cells remaining within two weeks and 17 percent of the cases showed drop in tumor size.
On the other hand, the ones given Herceptin only had 0 percent trace of cancer cells and only 3 percent featured drop in tumor size. In other words, the combination of the two drugs proved to be superior to being used on their own.