Scientists in Amsterdam believe that they may have just made a breakthrough in discovering a cure for breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with data showing that 1 in 8 women will suffer from it in their lifetime.
But new research from Professor Nigel Bundred, who presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam, indicated that Herceptin (a.k.a trastuzumab) and Lapatinib combined could be effective in curing breast cancer. The two drugs are already commonly used to treat breast cancer, but they have bever been used at the same time or used before surgery and chemotherapy.
By using these drugs, researchers found that they were able to eliminate certain types of breast cancer in less than two weeks. But perhaps what makes the treatment so appealing is the fact that it could allow patients to avoid surgery and chemotherapy.
The research was funded by Cancer Research UK, and the goal was to use the two drugs to eliminate the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) protein that impacts the growth of cancer cells.
When conducting the study, researchers used a group of 257 women who all tested positive for HER2. To begin, 130 women were assigned to a group. One group received the drug Herceptin (trastuzumab) and the other received Lapatinib. Each of these groups was treated for exactly 11 days after they were diagnosed.
There was also a third group that received no treatment prior to surgery.
The results for the women who took Herceptin and Lapatinib were favorable. Seven out of 66 women had no cancer cells after two weeks and 11 of the women who participated in the study experienced a dramatic shrinkage in their tumors.
The problem that medical professionals are currently facing is the fact that Herceptin is only permitted to be used alongside chemotherapy, but researchers hope that the results of this study will change that.
While there’s still more research to be done, professionals are hoping that this is a step in the right direction and will lead to a cure for breast cancer in the near future.