Breast Cancer Drug Treatment Gets FDA Approval
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A breast cancer drug therapy treatment that has proven to help a certain type of breast cancer has received FDA approval.
Dr. Niraj Gupta, Chair of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Saint Vincent Hospital, says the drug is called Kadcyla.
Many describe the drug as a "smart bomb" because of the way it uses the drug Herceptin to target the HER 2 protein in breast cancer cells before releasing a highly toxic chemotherapy called DM1. Dr. Gupta says the combination helps deliver the chemotherapy only to the cancer and cuts down on the killing so many healthy cells in the body like standard chemotherapy tends to do.
Dr. Gupta says out of the 230-thousand case of breast cancer diagnosed each year in the United States, about 20-percent of them have the HER 2 protein which has proven rather difficult to treat prior to this new treatment.
Dr. Gupta says a treatment like this takes about 8 to 10 years to get from concept development to FDA approval.