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New therapy for breast cancer

Posted on Feb 23, 04:49PM | IANS

Washington, Feb 23 : Breast cancer patients will now have an effective and less toxic therapeutic option.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the go-ahead to a new drug therapy for patients with HER2-positive - particularly aggressive form of breast cancer.

On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the new treatment drug, Kadcyla (trastuzumab emtansine), also known as TDM-1, which combines Traztuzumab, also called Herceptin, with the powerful chemotherapy drug emtansine.

The drug therapy is developed by Roche-owned Genentech, which funded the study.

Results from clinical trials of the drug TDM-1, known as "Super Herceptin," showed that it was more effective and less toxic than the standard regimen for this type of tumour.

The medication kept patients free of disease for longer than the standard chemotherapy regimen.

HER-2 positive breast cancer patients have been found to be positive for carrying a protein that promotes the growth of cancer cells.

TDM-1 is taken directly to cells that have the HER2 protein on the membrane, such as the cancer cells, while sparing normal cells. This results in less toxicity from the chemotherapy drug, reports Science Daily.

"TDM-1 works like the original drug Herceptin by hunting down and interfering with the cancer cells," said Melody Cobleigh, director of the Comprehensive Breast Centre at Rush centre, Illinois and lead investigator of the TDM-1 clinical trials at Rush.