A NEW pre-surgery treatment to help woman suffering from aggressive types of breast cancer has been given the regulatory green light.
It is believed more than 1,800 women a year in the UK could benefit from the targeted treatment Perjeta which was trialled by Chris Poole at the University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire.
Perjeta is a pre-surgery treatment for early HER2-positive tumours – HER2 is a protein which promotes the growth of cancer cells.
The regimen is given in combination with the current treatments – Herceptin and chemotherapy.
The project has been given the green light based on two key studies which showed the Perjeta regimen nearly doubled the number of women whose tumours were eradicated compared with current treatment.
Additional data showed patients were 40 per cent more likely to be disease-free after three years versus current treatment.
Perjeta works in a different way to any other cancer medicine – it works by blocking and affecting the cancer cell survival and growth signals, specifically targeting the HER2 receptors.
Dr Andrew Wardley is a consultant in medical oncology at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and one of the doctors who was involved in trialling the medicine.
He said: “Therapy for breast cancer has the greatest impact in the early stage, where it can prevent the cancer from returning or spreading and eradicate the cancer in some cases.
“There is a need to bring effective medicines to patients with cancer earlier.
“Perjeta has already shown the longest survival benefit in patients with previously untreated advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, so it is very encouraging to see its authorisation in an earlier setting in order to further improve the long-term outcomes for patients with this aggressive disease.”