There are numerous causes to follow but one that many people are interested in is the fight against cancer. There are people who have been following it for years and it seems as if it has remained stagnant for quite some time. Recently, there has been a positive turn of events when a breakthrough took place in Amsterdam.
You might be surprised with what they were able to accomplish. One out of every eight women is going to develop breast cancer at some time in their life. It is the most common form of cancer in women.
When they did a clinical trial, they discovered a way that breast cancer could be treated once and for all. Best of all, it was done without the use of chemotherapy. Prof. Nigel Bundred, a researcher at the European Breast Cancer conference in Amsterdam talked about two drugs, Herceptin and Lapatinib. Those drugs have already been used for the treatment of breast cancer but this is the first time they were used together prior to chemotherapy or surgery. When they did use them, they found that certain types of breast cancer were eliminated in only 11 days. Cancer Research UK funded the research. The drugs were used to combat a type of protein known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). That protein has an effect on the division of cancer cells as well as their growth.
It is a type of cancer that is more likely to return than others. One of the primary reasons why they felt that this test was positive is because it eliminated the need for chemotherapy or surgery. Since there are many side effects associated with chemotherapy, it is best avoided. In addition, not every patient is going to benefit from the use of chemotherapy.
257 women with HER2 positive breast cancer were selected for the study. Half of them were in the control group and the other half were put on the combination of drugs. Out of the women who were given the drugs, 11% had no cancer cells within two weeks. 17% had tumors that shrunk considerably.
The women in the control group only received Herceptin. At the end of the trial, 0% had no trace of cancer and 3% experienced a reduction in tumor size. This made it clear that the use of both drugs together had a more positive affect.
Herceptin is currently only licensed for use with chemotherapy and not for use on its own. This study may make some changes.
Much work has yet to be done but it is hopefully moving in the right direction. As medical advances continue to improve, this may just pave the way.