A “staggering” new breast cancer therapy has destroyed deadly tumours in just 11 days, trials have shown.
The finding presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference, have been the first time a drug for breast cancer has had such an incredible response, The Telegraph reported.
The trial was run in 257 cancer patients with HER2 positive breast cancer, one of the most aggressive forms.
The therapy given was a combination of two targeted drugs, Herceptin, the current standard treatment and Tyverb. The combination managed to entirely destroy tumours as large as 3cm. Professor Nigel Bundred the lead researcher said that “for solid tumours to disappear in 11 days is unheard of. These results are mind boggling.”
Nine in ten women tested showed a response to the therapy, measured by a reduction in the number of cancer cells. In 17% of cases, the tumour significantly shrunk to less than 5mm and therefore being classified as “minimal residual disease.” In 11% of cases, the tumour completely disappeared.
The drug was shown to be effective even in cases where the disease had spread to the lymph nodes, the study, presented at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam, found.
Professor Bundred said: “The results are so staggering that I suspect that we will have to run another trial to prove that they are generalisable.”
Scientists are currently unsure on the mechanism which has caused this result but they believe that an immune response may be part of the mechanism.
The research may result in many women not having to undergo chemotherapy as well as a huge reduction in the price of treatment due to the short time period in which the drugs are required to be given.