The drug Herceptin is being hailed as a new 'wonder drug' after it was found to halve the risk of relapse in breast cancer patients. New results of the trials show that the drug can also serve as a potential cure for the cancer, something that has never happened so far.
In this particular study, which tracked 5,000 patients in 39 countries, researchers found that there were 220 cases of breast cancer relapse as compared to 127 cases in patients who were on Herceptin for a year. This is a massive reduction of almost 46 percent and doctors have hailed these results as 'stunning' and 'revolutionary.' Herceptin acts against a protein of a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer and has convinced experts of its potency. The findings of this study were published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine and have stunned and enthused the medical fraternity.
"The strength of the evidence is so overwhelming at this point that it would be almost impossible to withhold this drug from the appropriate group of patients. This observation suggests a dramatic and perhaps permanent perturbation of the natural history of the disease, (and) may even be a cure," commented Dr Gabriel Hortobagyi of the University of Texas. Currently the drug is not recommended for early stage breast cancer patients, but this could change in the face of these new results. Patients are so elated over the results achieved by this drug that they are taking to court as evidenced by breast cancer patient Barbara Clark, who won a legal fight to be prescribed Herceptin.