All around the world, scientists are constantly looking for more efficient cancer treatments, with the end goal being a cure. Taking a swift leap in the right direction, a Cancer Research UK-funded trial exhibited promising results for women with HER2 positive breast cancer, a type of breast cancer especially prone to recurrence. In the trial, sixty-six women were treated with drugs commonly used after tumour-removal surgery and chemotherapy: Herceptin and Lapatinib. After only eleven days of treatment, approximately a quarter of the women showed rapid shrinkage and even disappearance of tumours.
Samia al Quadhi, chief executive at Breast Cancer Care tells The Guardian the study “has game changing potential. Yet before this [treatment] can be made available we need to see more evidence. Particularly because, at present, trastuzumab’s (Herceptin) licensing means it is only available to be used alongside chemotherapy and not alone.”
Still, the results are enormously hopeful. If a combination of Herceptin and Lapatinib can completely cure cancer, patients may be able to avoid chemotherapy--and possibly surgery--all together. However, the combination of trial drugs didn't work for all the women, but if approved for patients, an eleven-day turnover period would let doctors know if the drugs were effective very quickly.