From all of the types of cancer that are known, most of the female population worldwide is affected by breast cancer. Nowadays, beside the fact that there are plenty of treatments available which are invented to neutralize tumors, over half a million women still died from breast cancer in 2011. Having this in mind, it`s clear that detecting the tumor in early stages increases the percentage of survival in patients.
At the European Breast Cancer Conference which took place in Amsterdam, the researchers presented a new set of drugs that are proven that can eliminate some types of breast cancer for 11 days only. The medicine came out as a result of the research of the Cancer Research UK-funded trial and gives a real chance to the women who are affected with breast cancer to fight back cancer without the need of using chemotherapy ever again.
The attention of the research is focused on two different medicines Herceptin and Lapatinib, which so far are commonly used in the breast cancer treatment, after a tumor-removal surgery and conventional chemotherapy are conducted. Both of them are acting in the same way- they are targeting a protein in our body called HER2, which is responsible for the growth of various non-aggressive and aggressive types of breast cancer.
So far, this type of therapy was tested on 257 women that were diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer and the results were there to confirm the effects. Significantly, 11 percent of the breast cancers were completely gone in a period of only two weeks, and no surgery conducted previously. Further, the drugs managed to shrink the tumors in 17 percent of the cases.
The effects of this experimental therapy surprised the team in terms of how this commonly used types of drugs can help patients in some cases cure breast cancer forever. The breast cancer which is feeding with the HER2 protein has bigger chances to develop again, in comparison to other types, so this research will bring hope for sure for those who are currently fighting it.
The conventional treatment that Is widely used today-chemotherapy, can last for months and we must be conscious of the side effects that go along with it. The chemotherapy is causing frequent vomiting, hair loss, extreme fatigue and some patients get reduce cognitive functions too. On top of everything, no one can guarantee that the patient will be cancer free after conducting the therapy. So, this means that in future some patients will get rid of breast cancer without taking chemotherapy or surgery.
The president of a UK- based charity named Breast Cancer Care, Samia al Qadhi, once has stated “at present, Herceptin’s licensing means it is only available to be used alongside chemotherapy and not alone. All cancer patients deserve access to clinically effective treatments.”. Even the study is still at it`s beginning phase, it “has game-changing potential,” as the Guardian announced.
Breast cancer is really tangled, like all types of cancers are. When we think of breast cancer, we think of a group of ten separate diseases, each and every with its own development styles and patient survival rate. Many years will pass until we learn how to cure all of them, but, for now, these types of researches give the scientists a chance to take a step closer to the winning combination.