A breast cancer drug earlier rejected by the NHS has been found in a recent study to actually boost survival chances by about five years in women. Perjeta was a breast cancer drug manufactured by Roche, and it is made to work alongside another breast cancer drug, Herceptin, in combination with chemotherapy to treat severe cases of breast cancer in women.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, a subsidiary of the NHS, had earlier debunked the value of Perjeta on the grounds that there were not enough evidences to determine its effectiveness as a breast cancer drug which was capable of prolonging the life of the patient. But following new evidences showcased at the European Society of Medical Oncology in Madrid, Perjeta in combination with Herceptin and chemotherapy was found highly reliable in prolonging the live of patients by five years.
Breast cancer patients suffering from the rare HER2 disease were found to have an actual survival rate of 56.5 months added to their life expectancy when treated with the combination drugs of Perjeta and Herceptin with chemotherapy, as against the 40.8 months of patients only treated with Herceptin and chemotherapy alone.
According to a consultant medical oncologist at the Mount Vernon Cancer Centre in north-west London, Professor David Miles, “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 being difficult to treat. The observation that women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer can live alongside their disease for so many years is frankly unprecedented. 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.”