Drug trialled in Sheffield extends life for cancer patients

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A new cancer drug trialled and tested in Sheffield has been found to extend the lives of women with aggressive breast cancer by nearly 16 months.

The drug, Perjeta, was tested at the Sheffield Cancer Research Centre, which found that used in combination with Herceptin and chemotherapy it can extend survival in women with HER2-positive breast cancer to nearly five years.

HER2-positive breast cancer is known to be difficult to treat and has a poor prognosis.

Perjeta is the first in a new class of targeted treatments, which work to block cancer cell growth and survival signals.

Professor David Miles, a Consultant Medical Oncologist who ran the UK study, said: “These results are impressive. They show a magnitude of survival benefit which we have never seen before in advanced breast cancer, let alone this particular type, previously regarded as having a poor prognosis and difficult to treat.

“The introduction of Herceptin made a huge difference for our patients but this strategy of combining Herceptin with this second HER2-targeted antibody with complementary mechanisms, means that we are able to control the cancer and prolong survival for even longer.

These data represent a significant step forward in the fight against breast cancer with combination therapies such as this paving the way for cancer treatments in the future.”