In 2011, it was estimated that more than half a million women died due to breast cancer according to the World Health Organization. And nearly a quarter of a million (240,000) additional new cases were expected for the year of 2016. Although generally considered as a disease of the developed countries, nearly half the cases of breast cancer worldwide were in less developed countries and over 58 per cent of worldwide deaths occurred in less developed countries.
A well known method to combat cancer is chemotherapy, whereby it radiates all cells in a certain area and does not specify cancerous cells.
That’s why a new study in Amsterdam is so impressive since it’s shown results that it can destroy tumors in as little as 11 days without the use of chemo!
Cancer cells are notorious for growing and dividing rapidly, thus the use of chemotherapy has long been thought to be most effective since it reduces the speed in which it grows.
But there can be numerous side effects affiliated with chemotherapy since it can reduce the growth of other quick-growing cells such as those in the mouth and stomach (intestines,) and cells that make your hair grow.
At the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam, professor Nigel Bundred revealed research that illustrated a game-changing effectiveness in targeting cancer cells.
The researchers found some stunning evidence when they used the two drugs simultaneously before surgery and chemotherapy.
He combined the two drugs, Herceptin (also known as Trastuzumab) and Lapatinib. Although the pair are commonly used in cancer treatment already, they have never been used in a duo.
Their research showcased that they were able to eliminate some types of breast cancer completely in just 11 days. And in other cases they found that the combination of the drugs illustrated a drastic reduction in cancer sizes.
The combination of the drugs is aimed at fighting a protein known as the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 or HER2.
The HER2 gene creates the HER2 protein which is a receptor that dictates the growth and division of breast cancer cells.
Normally the receptors are supposed to control how a healthy breast cells grows, divides and repairs itself.
But in 25 per cent of breast cancer cases where the HER2 receptor goes haywire, it causes the HER2 protein to make too many copies of itself thus dividing and growing in an uncontrollable fashion.
HER2-positive breast cancers tend to grow much quicker and they have a tendency to spread to other parts of the body much faster. Additionally, there is an increased likelihood that it will come back.
Moreover, an additional benefit to this sort of treatment resides in its ability to eliminate the need for surgery and/or chemotherapy.
This can help reduce the temporary side effects commonly associated with cancer such as vomiting, fatigue and hair loss just to name a few.
The study conducted had 257 women with HER2-positive breast cancers, and they were given the drug combo while the control group were given the drugs on their own (not combined.)
The study found that in cases where the women took a combination of the drugs, 11 per cent reported no cancer cells remaining within two weeks and another 17 per cent of cases illustrated a dramatic reduction in size of the tumors.
The other half of the study who were solely given Herceptin revealed no cases where there was no evidence of cancer cells left and only 3 per cent revealed a reduction in tumor size.