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Breast cancer news

In 2016 breast cancer news were introduced during European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-10) which took place in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Conference brought together scientists, clinicians, patient representatives and health professionals of diverse profiles to tackle key issues facing patients throughout the continuum of the breast cancer journey.

The main goal of the conference was introduction of most advanced scientific achievements concerning treatment and care of breast cancer. Most famous breast cancer experts shared breast cancer news and discussed best achievements. Conference provides the latest insights into the areas of breast cancer prevention, optimal diagnosis, treatment, survival and best practices.

Breast cancer news

Breast cancer news

The most striking breast cancer news were introduced by British scientific team from University of Manchester, UK. Clinical study showed that the combination of two drugs Lapatinib (Tyverb) and Trastuzumab (Herceptin) is significantly shrinking certain breast cancer tumors. This shrinkage occurs only 11 days after diagnosis. It should be mentioned that lapatinib and trastuzumab are not new – both drugs are commonly used in breast cancer treatment already, but this is the first time they had been combined together and used before surgery and chemotherapy. Actually, the way that they are being used in combination with each other is new – they were able to eliminate some types of breast cancer in just 11 days.

Breast cancer news – Breast cancer tumor can be killed in 11 days

In total 257 women participated in this study and all of them had been diagnosed with epidermal growth factor receptor 2 breast cancer (HER2 positive breast cancer). In general, about 10-15% of invasive breast cancer cases are HER2 positive. It means millions of women with breast cancer can benefit from new treatment approaches.

In total 87% of women who took the combination of two drugs demonstrated dramatic reduction in cancer cells. In 17% women tumors shrunk from 1 to 3 cm down to less than 5 mm. In addition, 11% participants had no discernible cancer cells after treatment.

Prof. Nigel Bundred

Prof. Nigel Bundred

“For solid tumors to disappear in 11 days is unheard of. These are mind-boggling results. This has groundbreaking potential because it allows us to identify a group of patients who, within 11 days, have had their tumors disappear with anti-HER2 therapy alone and who potentially may not require subsequent chemotherapy. This offers the opportunity to tailor treatment for each individual woman.”
Prof Nigel Bundred, Chief investigator, University of Manchester, UK

According to scientists, both used drugs Tyverb and Herceptin block the growth signals in cancerous cells. Herceptin attaches to HER2 receptors on the breast cancer cells and Tyverb blocks cellular growth signals inside by penetrating the cell.

Based on study results, it was suggested that chemotherapy may not be necessary by some women if they start using this combination of medications immediately after diagnosis. It is also necessary to look into the lasting effect of these medications, because HER2 positive cancers have a high risk of recurrence.

Promising breast cancer news were discussed during European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam. Presented study can be considered as the major step in the fight against one of the world’s deadliest diseases. In fact, suggested breast cancer treatment eliminates the need for chemotherapy and surgery. The temporary side effects like hair loss, vomiting and fatigue are also avoided, making treatment less impactful on the body.

Prof. Judith Bliss

Prof. Judith Bliss

“It was unexpected to see quite such dramatic responses to the trastuzumab and lapatinib within 11 days. Our results are a strong foundation on which to build further trials of combination anti-HER2 therapies prior to surgery – which could reduce the number of women who require subsequent chemotherapy, which is also very effective but can lead to long-term side effects.”
Prof. Judith Bliss, Trial co-leader, Institute of Cancer Research, London

According to Cancer Research UK, current treatments are effective, and women often experience a complete response after three to four months. Nevertheless, researchers said the 11-day response was very surprising.

Prof Arnie Purushotham

Prof Arnie Purushotham

“These results are very promising if they stand up in the long run and could be the starting step of finding a new way to treat HER2 positive breast cancers. This could mean some women can avoid chemotherapy after their surgery – sparing them the side-effects and giving them a better quality of life.”
Prof Arnie Purushotham, senior clinical adviser at Cancer Research UK

Breast cancer experts hailed the findings as “astonishing” – actually it is the first time a drug for the disease has ever shown such a response. Results of trial show treatment effectiveness for most aggressive forms of breast cancer. It could open new opportunities for future treatment of other types of cancer.

 


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