New breast cancer drug available for UK terminal patients

A drug which treats aggressive, terminal breast cancer will be available to women across the UK as of today. Kadcyla is being hailed as a first of its kind in breast cancer as it allows chemotherapy to be delivered directly to cancer cells.

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Roll out of new breast cancer drug 'a huge step forward'

Plans to roll out a "revolutionary" breast cancer drug across the UK are "a huge step forward", according to health campaigners.

Kadcyla will be available on the cancer drugs fund, a move which will make "a significant difference" to breast cancer sufferers who have stopped responding to chemo, according to Dr Caitlin Palframan.

Kadcyla has been shown to extend life by up to six months in HER2-positive secondary breast cancer patients, and with more manageable side effects than alternative drugs.

It has the potential to provide women with a better quality of life in their final months than existing treatments, which could make a significant difference.

A thousand women die from metastatic, or secondary, breast cancer every month in the UK and this treatment has the potential to provide some of them not only with additional time, but importantly, quality time to spend with their friends and families.

– Dr Caitlin Palframan Breakthrough Breast Cancer

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New breast cancer drug made widely available

A breast cancer drug for women who have stopped responding to conventional medicine has been launched in the UK.

Kadcyla - also called T-DM1 - will be given to terminal patients who have stopped responding to more established medicines, like Herceptin and chemotherapy.

Breast cancer sufferers may life for another six months of the drug, experts said. Credit: Reuters

It is only suitable for patients with the defective Her2 gene and trial results have shown it can extend life by six months compared with treatment with two other drugs, lapatinib (Tyverb) and capecitabine (a type of chemotherapy).

Kadcyla is administered intravenously once every three weeks.

Breast Cancer Campaign's Mia Rosenblatt said: "Today's announcement that this revolutionary new drug is now available to patients with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer (around 20% of those with breast cancer), is really encouraging news.

"It has been shown to extend life by up to six months and have more manageable side effects than other existing treatments."

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