Breat cancer drug Herceptin proven to help sufferers live longer
BREAST CANCER DRUG Herceptin has been proven to have even more positive effects than originally thought as a study has revealed it increases the life span of women with the most severe cases of the disease.
The research presented yesterday at the European Cancer Congress followed 340 cases of women with advanced HER2 breast cancer, the most aggressive form of the disease. It looked at the effects of Herceptin if the patients continued to use the drug while the disease progressed. Of those that did, the average survival rate was a further 27.8 months, compared to 16.8 months for the women who did not continue with the treatment. Two years after diagnosis, three out of four women who had continued to take the drug were still alive, compared to just 24% of the women who had stopped taking the drug as their illness has progressed.
The drug has encountered controversy, due to a number of high-profile battles from women campaigning to be allowed the drug on the NHS. With a year supply costing £20,000, the Government has limited the allowance of the drug to women suffering from certain types and stages of the disease.