The FDA approves a new targeted drug to treat advanced breast cancer. Georgia Cancer Specialists was one of the leaders in the clinical trial and research.
The new drug T-DM1 treats what's called Herceptin 2 positive breast cancer. This type accounts for about 1 in 5 women with breast cancer.
Breast cancer patient Susan Reid was thrilled to learn there's a new treatment for some patients.
"It just changes the whole reaction, my reaction anyway, and most people I know who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. There's just so much going on. It is exciting, Reid said.
Her doctor, Dr. Mansoor Saleh, played an integral role in the clinical trial to get the drug approved.
"I live for the moment of having new drugs for the patient. I think the patient deserves the drug called hope. But I think the patient deserves more than that, a drug that can kill their cancer," Saleh said.
Saleh said the prognosis for advanced breast cancer patients whose cancer progressed after chemotherapy and had herceptin treatments, was to live two and a half to three years. T-DM1 changes that.
"It is a dramatic array of hope, a new drug that did not exist before. To us in the scientific field, we now can deliver, chemotherapy in this case, T-DM1 directly to the enemy, i.e. the tumor cell and not harm the rest of the tissue," Saleh said.
Saleh calls T-DM1 a major breakthrough that gives patients approximately another six months.
"Within that six months life can change, new drugs can be approved," Saleh said.
Reid calls the women in the study brave, and believes it takes courage and offers hope to others living with breast cancer.
"It makes me think it's a temporary inconvenience and not a life sentence," Reid said.
Reid is now participating in a trial herself. Saleh said participation in trials are crucial to these types of breakthroughs.
The drug will be available for prescription in two to three months.
Georgia Cancer Specialists were recently just approved for another trial which will test this same drug in breast cancer patients earlier.
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