Women with incurable breast cancer have been given fresh hope because of a “mind-blowing” new drug that holds the disease at bay for more than twice as long as previous treatments, the Mail reported.
According to the latest trial results, the medication can stop progression for 2 years, compared to just 9 months with previous options.
The drug, Enhertu, approved by NHS health chiefs last week, is administered every 3 weeks in hospital via an intravenous drip, and combines 2 potent compounds: an antibody that helps the immune system find cancer cells and a fighter molecule, which enters the cancer cells and destroy them.
The latest trial results have shown that this two-pronged attack leads to dramatic tumor shrinkage in two-thirds of patients given it, compared to just a third having standard treatment.
“This drug is displaying mind-blowing activity in patients for whom the outcome is usually pretty poor,” said Peter Schmid, professor of cancer medicine at the Barts Cancer Centre and one of the researchers of the drug.
“It is succeeding where all other treatments seem to fail, because over time, cancer cells adapt to hide from the drugs. Not only does this one work, it continues to work for a long time.”
Nearly 55,000 Britons are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, mostly women aged over 50. Treatments mean the outlook for most patients is positive, with over three-quarters of women surviving at least 10 years after diagnosis.