A drug offering hope to late-stage breast cancer sufferers was approved by the government yesterday.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of Kadcyla, which is said to work as a 'smart bomb' on a strain of the disease which is believed to effect one fifth of sufferers.
It is a combination of the well-known Herceptin and a chemotherapy drug called DM1.
Wonder drug? On Friday the Government approved Kadcyla, a new breast cancer drug which it is hoped can extend the lives of advance stage sufferers of the disease
DM1 is too powerful to go straight into the blood stream but Herceptin works as a carrier delivering it to the cancer cells directly.
The drug has been proven effective on HER2-positive breast cancer, a protein which advances cancer growth, adding several months onto the life of many women who were facing death.
It was trialled on 991 women with advanced stage HER2-positive breast cancer and found to extend their lives by and average of 5.8 months compared to standard chemotherapy.
According to the FDA, 20 per cent of breast cancer sufferers suffer from HER2 protein breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the second most deadly type of cancer among American women.
This year estimates say 232,340 will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 39,620 will die as a result of the illness.
Makers of the drug, Genentech, put out a statement saying the drug will be available in two weeks but NBC reports it is expensive at a cost of $94,000 for a 10 month course.
The company said it would help patients who couldn't afford to make the payments.
'People who do not have health insurance, or who have reached the lifetime limit set by their insurance company, might qualify to receive Kadcyla free of charge,' it said in the statement.
Hope: Genentech, the makers of Kadcyla, say the drug on average added almost 6 months onto the lives of advanced-stage breast cancer sufferers
The company say the release is the first of several cancer drugs which they are working on which adopt this 'smart bomb' approach
Chief medical officer and Head of Global Product Development, Hal Barron, said: 'Kadcyla is an antibody-drug conjugate representing a completely new way to treat HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and it helped people live nearly six months longer.
'We currently have more than 25 antibody-drug conjugates in our pipeline and hope this promising approach will help us deliver more medicines to fight other cancers in the future.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2283355/Kadcyla-New-breast-cancer-hope-smart-bomb-drug-help-sufferers-late-stage-disease-approved.html#ixzz2Lvw8Qdgr
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