Researchers Discover Treatment That Destroys Breast Cancer Tumors in 11 Days — Without Chemotherapy or Surgery
Contributing writer for Wake Up World
A cancer diagnosis is a terrifying prospect — one that we would surely like to avoid at all costs. Through lifestyle choices and consuming a clean diet, we vastly improve our chances of staying healthy and bypassing the disease entirely. But sometimes, regardless of themeasures we take, it simply isn’t enough.
Considering 1 in 8 women (about 12%) are diagnosed with breast cancer in the US — with 252,710 new invasive cases and 63,410 non-invasive cases expected to strike in 2017 — new treatment options that hold promise cause ripples of excitement in the medical communityand the public alike.If such a medical protocol doesn’t have significant side-effects, even better. But what if it allowed women diagnosed with breast cancer to skip chemotherapy, radiation and surgery altogether — and eliminated the disease in just 11 days?
This is exactly the kind of breakthrough that was presented by Professor Nigel Bundred at the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-10) in Amsterdam in 2016.
Anti-HER2 Therapy Shown to Dramatically Reduce Tumors
HER2 positive breast cancer is a type of cancer that has a large number of human epidermal growth factor (HER2) receptors on the surface of cancer cells, which stimulate the cells to divide and grow rapidly. Researchers recentlydiscovered that HER2 positive breast cancer responds to targeted therapies using a combination of trastuzumab and lapatinib.
During his presentation of a clinical trial involving 257 women diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer, Bundred — a professor of Surgical Oncology at The University of Manchester and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UK), noted:
“This has ground-breaking potential because it allows us to identify a group of patients who, within 11 days, have had their tumors disappear with anti-HER2 therapy alone and who potentially may not require subsequent chemotherapy. This offers the opportunity to tailor treatment for each individual woman.”
The trial was in two parts: the first involved a control group of 130 women who were randomized to receive no pre-operative treatment, or trastuzumab (Herceptin ®) only, or lapatinib (Tyverb ®) only, for 11 days after diagnosis and before surgery.
However, evidence soon began to emerge in other trials that using a combination of lapatinib and trastuzumab to treat HER2 positive breast cancer is far more effective. In response, the research team amended the second part of their trial and involved 127 women, who were to either receive only trastuzumab, or both lapatinib and trastuzumab.Samples of tumor tissue were taken from the first biopsy of each participant, which had been performed to confirm the cancer diagnosis, and another after surgery. The samples were then analyzed to see if Ki67 protein (a marker of cell proliferation) had dropped, or if cell death (apoptosis) had risen by 30 percent or more.
Results from the second part of the trial showed a quarter of the women with HER2 positive breast cancer, who received the combination treatment for 11 days before surgery and chemotherapy, experienced a significant shrinkage of tumors — some completely disappeared. Even women with Stage 2 cancer, where the cancer had already spread to the lymph nodes, responded to the combination therapy.
Says Professor Judith Bliss, lead researcher from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, which co-led the trial, told the conference:
“These results show that we can get an early indication of pathological response within 11 days, in the absence of chemotherapy, in these patients on combination treatment. Most previous trials have only looked at the pathological response after several months of treatment.” She stressed, “Clearly these results need further confirmation, but I suspect the excitement from seeing the speed of disappearance of the tumours will mean that several trials will attempt to confirm these results.”
Additionally, Professor Bundred emphasizes the usefulness of the discovery to successfully treating HER2 positive breast cancer in the future:
“Other trials have looked at anti-HER2 therapy, with and without chemotherapy, including an assessment of the combination of trastuzumab and lapatinib, and have reported impressive response rates but these trials have only reported results after several months of therapy. Potentially, giving treatment while waiting for surgery can identify a group of patients whose disease is particularly sensitive to anti-HER2 therapy, which would allow individualization of therapy in women with HER2 positive cancers,” said Professor Bundred. [source]
Granted, cancer is complex —thisresearchpublished in the journal Nature actually found that “breast cancer represents multiple diseases” — and thereare no simple solutions. Be that as it may,the results of the trial presented at the EBCC-10 hold promiseforfinding safe and effect treatments, which ultimately help patients avoid chemotherapy and its devastating side-effects.
About the author:
Carolanne Wright enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need tobethe change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years.
Through her website Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision.You canalsofollow Carolanne onFacebook, Twitter and Pinterest.