Herceptin, the brand name of the drug Trastuzumab, was a breakthrough breast cancer drug when it was developed by the University of California Los Angeles medical school nearly a decade ago. It was a breakthrough for the success it had in fighting breast cancer known for an excess of a particular protein called HER2. This was an aggressive cancer that was difficult to treat.
When Herceptin first came out it was given to women HER2 cancer for one year, to very positive effects in terms of its cancer fighting powers. In terms of its side effects, the results were not so positive. There were a wide range of side effects from heart problems to high temperature. The severity of the side effects got worse as the treatment time lengthened.
Now a recently completed study by researchers at Cambridge University has shown that Herceptin can be administered for only six months with the same cancer fighting effects shown in women that endured Herceptin treatments for 12 months. This means women with HER2 cancer won’t have to suffer with the side effects of Herceptin getting worse and worse as months 7-12 drag on. The Cambridge University researchers will present their findings at the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago in 2018.
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Here’s more information about the development of Herceptin.