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Study validates Herceptin

5th January 2007

06032006_herceptin1.jpgBritish researchers have found that the drug Herceptin does improve a woman's chances of survival from early stage breast cancer.

The study found that patients with HER2-receptor positive disease (the form of breast cancer which responds to Herceptin) are likely to live longer if they take the drug for a year following traditional chemotherapy treatment.  The drug has long been known to prolong the life of those with the later stages of cancer but these new findings prove the drug’s efficacy with early stage breast cancer. Professor Ian Smith, of London’s Royal Marsden Hospital said, "Our results indicate that Herceptin shows a significant overall survival benefit in early breast cancer over observation alone after chemotherapy.?

The findings support the decision last year to approve NHS treatment with the drug following a high profile legal battle by women seeking the drug on the NHS.  Since then the government has told hospitals in England and Wales to offer Herceptin to all suitable patients with early stage breast cancer but has made no extra funding available. A course of treatment costs around £20,000 per year.

Previous studies have already shown that Herceptin could halve the risk of early stage breast cancer returning for up to 25 per cent of women with HER2-receptor positive disease.  It is now thought that the drug could save around 2,000 lives a year if given to all eligible patients.


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Saturday 13th January 2007 @ 4:12

I fit the category of HER-2 receptor positive early stage breast cancer. I didn't have Chemotherapy--just surgery. I am post-Menopausal. Should I take Herceptin?

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Article Information

Title: Study validates Herceptin
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1603
Date Added: 5th Jan 2007


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