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Scientists Just Destroyed Breast Cancer Tumors In 11 Days Without Chemo

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, with 1 out of 8 women having the chance to develop the disease during their lifespan. Thanks to European scientists, there could be a new breakthrough cure for cancer that doesn't require deadly chemotherapy.

Dutch Scientists Just Destroyed Breast Cancer Tumors In 11 Days Without Chemo

In the study, researchers studied two drugs in particular. The drugs are known as Herceptin and Tykerb, which are actually two commonly used cancer drugs, however, they are not typically paired together. Furthermore, they are actually used mainly as a supplementary treatment with chemotherapy and surgery.

What these drugs do is block growth signals between cancer cells found in the body. They also induce cell death, otherwise known as apoptosis.

Study Results

In the first part of the study, 130 women who had been diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer received the following treatments for 11 days before surgery:

  • 22 women: no treatment (the control group)
  • 51 women: Herceptin only (6 mg per kg of body weight on days one and eight)
  • 57 women: Tykerb only (1,500 mg per day)

Results

The control group experienced no major changes in the cancer status of their tumors. The Tykerb group didn't either. Yet, the Herceptin group showed a complete pathologic response while one woman had minimal residual disease.

In the second part, 127 diagnosed women were separated into three groups:

  • 29 women: no treatment (the control group)
  • 32 women: Herceptin only
  • 66 women: Herceptin and Tykerb in combination

Results

Once again, in the control, no changes were experienced. In the Herceptin group, no women had a pathologic response, but one woman had the minimal residual disease. What is amazing, though, is that in the Herceptin-Tykerb group, 7 women had a complete pathologic response while 11 women had the minimal residual disease.

What Do The Researchers Say?

“This has ground-breaking 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,” said Dr. Nigel Bundred, professor of surgical oncology at the University of Manchester, who presented the study.

“This offers the opportunity to tailor treatment for each individual woman.”

Dr. Judith Bliss, of the Institute of Cancer Research, London, who also co-leader of the trial said “These results show that we can get an early indication of pathological response within 11 days, in the absence of chemotherapy for these patients on combination treatment... Most previous trials have only looked at the pathological response after several months of treatment. Clearly, these results need further confirmation, but I suspect the excitement from seeing the speed of disappearance of the tumors will mean that several trials will attempt to confirm these results.”

So what does this mean for those with breast cancer? According to the research done, the drugs that were almost entirely ineffective alone, became astoundingly effective when used in unison. What's more, is that no chemo was used in the study, nor was surgery. This is a major point in the right direction for those suffering from cancer, due to the dangers associated with both surgery and chemotherapy.


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