Every single potential cancer cure is considered a good sign. Believe it or not, a cure discovered by a group of European scientists is considered by many to be a breakthrough for the breast cancer research industry.
Breast cancer usually affects 1 out of every 8 US women, according to statistics. It is a serious disease that if not taken care of properly, can lead serious health issues and even result in death.
Breast Cancer Breakthrough
The first person to present this study and its results at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam was Professor Nigel Bundred. He and his group of scientists had tested the effectiveness of two drugs called Lapatinib and Herceptin.
These two drugs aren’t anything strange in the treatment of breast cancer, however this was the first time that both medicines were being used together prior to chemotherapy and surgery. The group of scientists found out that these combined medications were capable of removing few types of cancer in just 11 days.
From the start, the study was funded by Cancer Research UK and the main goal of it was to use these drugs to fight a protein called Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 (HER2). This protein has been known to impact the multiplication and growth of cancer cells as this cancer is the one that’s most likely to come back, compared to other types of cancer.
The treatment has been shown to be successful in some cases up to now since it eliminates the need of surgery and chemotherapy, while not having any serious side-effects like chemotherapy does (hair loss, vomiting, fatigue).
This new type of remedy was highly welcomed since not all body types and metabolisms are able to withstand the impact chemotherapy and surgery can have on the body.
Results of the Study
Exactly 257 women that had HER2 positive breast cancer took part in the study. They were separated in two groups in which the first group were put on the drug combination and the other group was just a control group.
2 weeks later, when the results finally came in, it was shown that 11 % of women who were in the drug combo group had no cancer cells remaining after 11 days, and 17% of the participants had drastically shrunken tumours.
The control group on the other hand, was given Herceptin separately, and the results showed that 0 % of the participants had no sign of cancer trace and 3% of the participants had shown signs of slightly reduced tumour size.
This makes the effects obvious, but there is still one problem. The licensing of Herceptin allows it to be used only alongside chemotherapy and not alone. Fortunately, this study has started to slowly change these rules but there is still tons of work to be done before the drug combo can be announced as an official breast cancer cure. Our hopes are still high, thanks to the ever-growing number of medicine improvements and advancements.