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Sunday 23rd October 2016

Breast cancer combination treatment

13th August 2008

A new way to treat breast cancer has been put forward after researchers focussed on the combination of two inexpensive existing drugs.


Combining a common chemotherapy drug and a brittle bone medicine almost completely stopped the growth of tumours in mice.

Now, the UK and Finnish researchers are awaiting the results of human trials later this year, which they say could be crucial.

Writing in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, it has emerged the combination would cost a twentieth of the Herceptin drug given to breast cancer patients by the NHS.

A team from the University of Sheffield and Kuopio University in Finland have been working jointly on the project which used a dose of doxorubicin used in chemotherapy, followed 24 hours later by zoledronic acid which is currently given to osteoporosis patients. In mice, it stopped 99.99% of new cancer cell growth in tumours.

Study leader Dr Ingunn Holen said: "These results show that a patient may benefit the most if these two drugs are given in this particular order."

The charity Breast Cancer Campaign funded the study and chief executive, Pamela Goldberg, said: "The results of this study could change the way breast cancer patients are treated. The good news is that the two treatments are relatively inexpensive and already used in the clinic."

Almost 46,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year in the UK, though modern treatments mean that cases caught early through breast screening programmes have a high chance of being treated successfully.


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