Researchers have finally come across experimental drugs that have the potential to cure breast cancer.
Two experimental drugs were on trial for women struggling with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Cancer in these women had spread wide and most previous treatments were futile in controlling cancer. One of these drugs particularly exhibited a great ability to reach tumors one might have in the brain. One of the toughest to reach via medicine. The other drug pairs a homing device for the cancerous cells with a payload of chemotherapy. This chemo is released when the drug reaches the target cells.
The leader of this study from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Dr. Ian Krop explains how this is like a guided missile to send the chemo directly to the cells. The results of this research were disclosed in the New England Journal of Medicine.
253 women participated in the experiments who received the T-DXd drugs every 3 weeks. 284 women saw positive results and 61% of them saw their tumors shrinking by over 30%. 6% of these women had no signs of cancer left in 2 followup scans.
But the side-effects of this drug was substantial. 60% of the women experienced nausea, low blood count, anemia, etc. 25 women even developed lung inflammation and unfortunately 4 died of it.
Daiichi Sankyo Inc. and AstraZeneca sponsored the study.
Dr. Eric Winer lead the study on the other experimental drug- tucatinib. Out of 612 women participants of this test, 50% had cancer spread to their brains. They were given medicines like Herceptin and Xeloda along with tucatinib or placebos.
2 years later, 45% of the tucatinib users were alive. Among the ones whose cancer had reached their brains, 1/4th of them were alive with the new drug. Their tumors had not worsened in a year even.
Seattle Genetics sponsored the study of tucatinib.