As we reported earlier this week, the science community is buzzing with joy over some new findings regarding breast cancer. A new drug developed by Genetech called Pertuzumab, significantly delays the worsening of breast cancer within most women. The study was conducted around the world, and represents the greatest advances in breast cancer treatment in over 10 years.
Dr. Sandra Swain, one of the leaders of the study and Medical Director of the Cancer Center at Washington Hospital, said “”You don’t see that very often. … It’s a spectacular result.”
A similar study was put on by Novartis regarding the drug Afinitor (everolimus), which is typically used to aid in organ transplants, but never for breast cancer. The study held the cancer at bay for a median of seven months, and this was in women who were experiencing a worsening of their condition even though they were being treated with hormone blocking agents!
Just yesterday at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, these astounding results were released and published on the web by the well respected New England Journal of Medicine. Says Dr. Peter Ravdin, Afinitor works in a new way, appears unusally effective, and sets a new standard of care. Dr. Radvin is the “breast cancer chief” at the UT Health Science Center, a cancer treatment center located in San Antonio, Texas.
The current standard in certain forms of breast cancer drugs for over a decade has been Herceptin, which was released in 1998. Now here’s the kicker…these new drugs are going to be quite costly, with a price tag of almost ten thousand dollars a month! Each year, roughly 40,000 women experience cancer spreading beyond their breasts, and these new treatments can have a huge impact on their lives.
To learn more, check out the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium website.