Breast cancer treatment breakthrough

The perjeta drug represents a scientific breakthrough as the first medicine of its kind. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

A ground-breaking new drug to treat breast cancer is being trialled at hospitals in the North East.

Early experiments show that Pertuzumab - otherwise known as Perjeta - can help to extend the life of women suffering from breast cancer that is at an incurable or recurring stage.

Hospital units in Newcastle and Durham are both involved, and experts believe that the drug could be available on prescription in the near future.

The perjeta drug represents a scientific breakthrough as the first medicine of its kind.

Every year, around 2,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the North East of England - which equates to more than five women being diagnosed each day.

Within the Newcastle Primary Care Trust boundary, 182 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.