A new drug combination that shrinks breast cancer in 11 days

In England, doctors showed that the two drugs used together reduced and destroyed some types of breast cancer in 11 days. It is stated that the “surprise” findings, announced at the European Breast Cancer Conference, may mean that women will no longer need chemotherapy. Tried on 257 women, the drugs target a weakness seen in one in ten breast cancers. Experts say these findings are a “springboard” for patient-specific cancer treatment. The doctors who conducted the study did not expect such a striking result. Doctors were investigating how drugs affect cancer in the short period from diagnosis of the tumor to the stage of surgery. In research, breast cancer The drug called lapatinib, which is used in the treatment of the disease, and trastuzumab, commercially known as Herceptin, were used together.

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By the time of surgery, the tumor had disappeared in some patients.
Professor Judith Bliss from the Cancer Research Institute in London said the results were “impressive” and said, “These results were even more surprising as this was a short-term trial. Some got full results. It happened so fast, it’s really interesting,” she said.


How does the new drug combination work?

Trastuzumab and drugs containing lapatinib were used together in the treatment. Both drugs target a protein called HER2, which causes some breast cancers to grow.
While Herceptin acts on the surface of cancer cells, lapatinib penetrates the cell and inactivates the HER2 protein. In the study, women with tumors of 1 to 3 cm were treated. In less than two weeks of treatment, in 11 percent of cases the cancer disappeared completely, while in 17 percent it became smaller than 5 mm.

Current treatment for HER2-containing breast cancers includes surgery followed by chemotherapy and Herceptin therapy. Prof Bliss says these findings may mean that some women will not need chemotherapy. However, it is noted that more extensive research is needed in this direction. Because cancers containing HER2 have a higher risk of relapse.

It is stated that there are at least ten different types of breast cancer, each of which has different causes and needs different treatments. Studies on cancer drugs aim to identify the weaknesses in the tumor and apply special treatment for them. Treatment for breast cancers and especially HER2-containing tumors is at the forefront of studies in this area. The UK Cancer Foundation, which financed the research, stated that if the same findings are obtained in the long term, these results are very promising and could mean a new step in these cancer types.Source:BBC

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