Lorraine: Elizabeth Hurley discusses breast cancer awareness
Scientists have identified a specific defect in some triple-negative cancers – and an existing treatment that could be used on them. Studies, funded by Breast Cancer Now and led by Dr Rachael Natrajan at The Institute of Cancer Research, found a way to identify triple-negative breast tumours that may be more likely to respond to drugs known as CDK4/6 inhibitors, including palbociclib.
The medication is currently used on other breast tumours that have spread through the body.
But the researchers found the potential to use it to treat around a fifth of people with triple-negative breast cancer.
Dr Natrajan said the study “suggests the exciting possibility that an already-approved breast cancer drug could be used to help women with this type of disease”.
Clinical trials will take several years but if they are successful, CDK4/6 inhibitors could be used within five years. Triple-negative breast cancer refers to tumours lacking three molecules normally used to classify it – oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) protein.
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This type of cancer, which disproportionately affects younger and black women, where to buy generic protonix online pharmacy no prescription is often resistant to traditional chemotherapy and is more likely to spread sooner and become incurable. Triple-negative breast cancer is treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Dr Simon Vincent of Breast Cancer Now called the discovery “hugely exciting”.
“Each year, around 8,000 UK women are diagnosed with this aggressive form of breast cancer and we desperately need new, effective ways to treat them,” he said.
“We hope that if clinical trials confirm that palbociclib is beneficial for some of these women, it will be advanced through the approval process and made available for those who need it as quickly as possible.”
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