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Doctors Discover Novel Drugs for Advanced Breast Cancer

About 20% of all breast cancers have an excessive protein known as HER2. An overactive gene in the cells promotes the growth of cancer, making it progress very fast.

Doctors have recently discovered two drugs that have shown excellent results in treating women with advanced breast cancer. The discovery was made in an experimental study on patients whose disease had widely spread, resisting many treatments before.

One of the drugs has the ability to reach tough-to-treat tumors located in the brain while the other one can be used to target cancerous cells using chemotherapy. It can be used to direct chemotherapy to the cancer cells.

In a study to test T-DXd (the guided-missile drug);

  • The doctors infused the drug in women who had previously tried about six treatments without much success.
  • The patients were given different doses of the drug. About 61% of the patients had their tumors shrunk to 30%, while another 6% of the women had no sign of cancer after two follow-up scans. This translates to a 3 – 4 times higher response rate, and the drug could hold the disease off for over a year.
  • Patients experienced side effects ranging from nausea, anemia, and low blood counts. Others developed lung inflammation, with a few dying from it. Doctors will need to monitor patients and administer preventive anti-inflammatory drugs for such cases.
  • Despite the side effects, the benefits of these new drugs outweigh the risks. Patients with advanced breast cancer have suffered and died from the disease without much hope for a cure.

The development of these drugs comes as a great relief, most notably since they can reach and destroy tumors that have spread to the brain. Now patients with aggressive disease can be included in new drug tests to improve their outlooks. Survival rates for patients will increase since the drugs can shrink them.

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