Is there a drug out there that shrinks early stage breast cancer?
According to an article released by drugs.com, a drug already used to treat advanced cases of breast cancer, also appears to shrink early stage breast tumors. This treatment may offer a unique opportunity in treating breast cancer.
This drug has not yet been approved to treat early stage breast tumors but if it is approved, it may result in a less invasive alternative for treating women with HER2-positive early stage breast cancer.
The drug, Perjeta (pertuzumab), would be the first cancer-fighting drug approved as a first-step breast cancer therapy in the US according to drugs.com.
The drug does look promising, but a report form the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released said there are still a few drug-related cardiac concerns that require additional research.
"Dr. Aye Moe Thu Ma, attending physician in breast surgical oncology with St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City, also voiced enthusiasm.
"We currently have limited options for neoadjuvant treatment of breast cancer," she said. "I'm excited that this may provide a more specific treatment for people with HER2-positive cancer. Although survival advantage has not been documented for patients who received neoadjuvant therapy over adjuvant therapy, if neoadjuvant therapy is effective, more patients can have breast preservation surgery."
This means women can keep their breasts because the tumor size is reduced, and some women may prefer this, she said.
Roche's Genentech unit is hoping for accelerated approval of Perjeta. The FDA can expedite approval for groundbreaking drugs as long as the drug maker pursues more research to show that the medication prolongs disease-free survival.
Genentech estimates about 15,000 women with HER2-positive early stage breast cancer could receive early treatment with Perjeta each year, Bloomberg reported.
Both short- and long-term side effects will need to be examined to fully evaluate risks and benefits of this medication if it is approved, Ma added."
To read the original article from drugs.com in its entirety, please follow the link here.