THOUSANDS more women could beat one of the deadliest forms of breast cancer thanks to a new treatment.
Scientists found that a particular drug combined with chemo “turbocharges” patients’ immune systems.
The new breast cancer treatment discovered by scientists could be available on the NHS in the next two to three years[/caption]
This means people with “triple negative” tumours are more likely to see them disappear before they have surgery — boosting their chances of the disease never coming back.
And the treatment could be available on the NHS in the next two to three years.
Researcher Peter Schmid, from Queen Mary University of London, said: “The potential of this is massive — this approach could save thousands of lives.”
Presenting the data in Barcelona to the European Society for Medical Oncology, the professor said 1,200 women took part in the study.
Two-thirds were given the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab with chemotherapy while the rest had chemo only.
High-res scan aid
A NEW ultrasound technology could pick up far more cases of cancer and cut the need for biopsies.
At present, ultrasounds can help identify potential problems with key organs but are not sensitive enough to detect cancer.
Scientists in Edinburgh say they can produce images with five to ten times the resolution of traditional methods.
The process works by injecting tiny bubbles into the bloodstream and scanning organs.
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For the first group, the chance of their cancer disappearing — known as a pathological complete response — before surgery was 65 per cent. For those given just chemo it was 51 per cent — a difference of 27 per cent.
Breast cancer affects around 55,000 Brits a year. The triple negative form accounts for one in six cases and kills a quarter of patients within five years. It is more common in those under 40.
Prof Charles Swanton, of Cancer Research, called the new treatment “a promising option”.
Ovarian tumours progress
YOUNGER women diagnosed with a rare type of ovarian cancer could benefit from a new drug treatment, say scientists.
Low grade serious ovarian cancer affects women at a younger age and is often resistant to standard chemotherapy.
But new random trials in Texas suggest those given the drug trametinib, previously used to treat melanomas, were four times more likely to see a reduction in tumour size.
Survival rates were also twice as high.
Charlie Gourley, of Edinburgh University’s Nicola Murray Centre for Ovarian Cancer Research, said: “This represents a major breakthrough.
“Low grade serous ovarian cancer is different because it affects younger women and is often resistant to chemotherapy.”
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