Breast Cancer Drug May Work Just as Well with Briefer Treatment

Modesto Morganelli
Mag 18, 2018

Herceptin, a biotech drug that costs about Dollars 76,700 a year in the United States, generated worldwide sales of more than Dollars 7 billion for Roche in 2017.

New research suggests that many women with a common and aggressive form of breast cancer that is treated with Herceptin can get by with six months of the drug instead of the usual 12.

Results were released Wednesday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology ahead of presentation at its meeting next month.

A new trial of patients suffering from HER2-positive breast cancer found survival rates were nearly identical among those given six months of therapy compared with a year. About 15 percent is an early-stage HER2 disease. According to the article, benefits of shorter treatment would be reduced costs and fewer adverse effects, such as less damage to the heart.

In addition, four percent of women in the six-month group discontinued treatment because of heart problems, compared with eight percent of the 12-month group.

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