Studies use later-staged breast cancer medication for those in early stages
Jan 17, 2012
Two new studies in the journals Lancet and Lancet Oncology showed that combining strong medications for patients with the early stages of an aggressive form of breast cancer can help to shrink the tumor, according to ABC News.
The form of breast cancer, HER2, is among the fastest and most aggressive. Medications such as Tykerb or Herceptin, which are usually used for the later stages of the disease when the tumors are inoperable, can benefit those in the earlier stages, when the tumors are still considered operable, the study shows.
"These studies represent a paradigm shift in breast cancer research where you're studying these therapies up front," Dr. Jose Baselga, chief of oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and lead author of the study published in the Lancet, told the news source. "This will cut down the time significantly of bringing these therapies to the public."
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death women, following only lung cancer. However, the death rate has been decreasing since 1990 due to advancements in research and breast cancer breakthrough news. There are currently 2.5 million survivors in the United States.