Breast cancer

20 November 2006

Herceptin use expanded

The approved uses of the breast cancer drug Herceptin has been expanded by the US Federal drug administration.

The approved use of the cancer drug Herceptin has been expanded to include treatment of early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer along with chemotherapy after a woman has a lumpectomy or mastectomy, the US Food and Drug Administration announced.

Herceptin was first approved by the FDA in 1998 to treat metastatic breast cancer (cancer that's spread to other areas of the body). This latest approval means it can also be used to treat women with cancer that was detected only in the breast or lymph nodes and was surgically removed. The drug should only be given to women with HER2-positive breast cancer, the FDA said.

This expanded use is based on the findings of two studies sponsored by the US National Cancer Institute. The studies, which included nearly 4 000 women, found that 87 percent of women who received the drug and chemotherapy after surgery were cancer-free after three years, compared to 75 percent of those who received chemotherapy alone.

It's too early to determine whether Herceptin combined with chemotherapy will increase the cure rate or lower the risk of death from breast cancer, the FDA said. – (HealthDayNews)

Read more:
Herceptin approved in Europe
Discovery to pay for cancer drug

November 2006

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Breast cancer expert

Dr Gudgeon qualified in Birmingham, England, in 1968. She has more than 40 years experience in oncology, and in 1994 she founded her practice, Cape Breast Care, where she treats benign and malignant breast cancers. Dr Boeddinghaus obtained her qualification at UCT Medical School in 1994 and her MRCP in London in 1998. She has worked extensively in the field of oncology and has a special interest in the hormonal management of breast cancer. She now works with Dr Gudgeon at Cape Breast Care. Read more.

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