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Positive results for Herceptin alternative

Research by the US National Cancer Institute has suggested investigational breast cancer treatment affitoxin is effective in targeting HER2-positive tumours that have stopped responding to Herceptin

Research by the US National Cancer Institute has suggested investigational breast cancer treatment affitoxin is effective in targeting HER2-positive tumours that have stopped responding to current treatment Herceptin (trastuzumab).

The study, which involved using the protein on mice, was developed to research alternative therapies for cancers over expressing the HER2 gene, with current therapies ineffective for many tumours.

Results showed that affitoxin is a 'potent agent' that is able to destroy HER2 over expressing cells at low concentrations and was well-tolerated by mice.

In his conclusion, author of the study, Dr Jacek Capala, National Cancer Institute, said: "Our findings showed that HER2-affitoxin is an effective anticancer agent and a potential candidate for clinical studies."

Delyth Morgan, chief executive of Breast Cancer Campaign, pressed the need for an alternative to Herceptin: "Historically, women with HER2-positive breast cancer had few treatments available to them. Herceptin changed that and is arguably one of the biggest advances in breast cancer in the last 20 years."

He continued: "However, in many cases Herceptin eventually stops working for these women. If affitoxin realises its potential as a new treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer, it may overcome this issue of resistance and become an important alternative treatment."

27th July 2011

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