Hope for breast cancer through new drug ‘Trojan horse’ that destroys tumor cells from the inside
- New drug can prevent cancer cells from progressing for a year
- It is intended for patients who have run out of other treatment options
- NICE meets on Tuesday to begin negotiations with US drug manufacturer
Advanced breast cancer patients can live an extra healthy life for a year or more thanks to a ‘Trojan horse’ treatment that destroys tumor cells from within.
The drug — Trodelvy — has already been hailed a game-changer by doubling survival rates in women with rare and difficult-to-treat triple-negative breast cancer.
Now, a major new study has shown it could work just as well in patients with a more common form of breast cancer — HR-positive HER2 negative — which accounts for 70 percent of cases, meaning thousands more women could have it. taking advantage.
The women in the study all had advanced disease that had not responded to other treatments and had spread to other parts of the body.
The new drug could help people with all types of breast cancer. Most breast tumors are diagnosed by mammogram (picture)
Women are encouraged to check their breasts regularly for changes and see a doctor if they are concerned
In many cases, Trodelvy kept the cancer at bay for a year.
“There is a serious unmet need for these patients who have already undergone chemotherapy and are out of options,” US cancer specialist Dr Jane Lowe Meisel said yesterday.
Discussing the study’s findings with the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago, she added, “If one of these patients walks into a clinic, with this drug you can essentially give them a one-in-five chance of their cancer. no progress in a year. That’s huge.’
Trodelvy uses artificial antibodies, similar to those produced naturally by the immune system, that contain a chemotherapy drug. They attach to cancer cells and then deliver their chemo payload directly into tumors.
The findings of the latest study on the drug – also known as sacituzumab govitecan-hziy – will renew hopes that the NHS issuing authority, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), will authorize its use in the UK after it had previously rejected it.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that NICE will meet on Tuesday to resume negotiations with US manufacturer Gilead over the price tag of £40,000 per year per patient.
Jo Taylor, founder of After Breast Cancer Diagnosis and patient association Met Up UK, welcomed the move: ‘NICE’s decision to reject Trodelvy was a huge disappointment.
I have friends who are desperate for this drug, and considering how fast the disease is progressing, even a two-week delay is too much. These people need it right away.
“I hope NICE comes to its senses and approves the drug. These women really need it to extend their lives.’
Professor Nick Turner, a breast cancer expert at the Institute for Cancer Research in London, said: ‘It’s not a cure, but it can extend their lives, giving patients more time with their family and friends.’