City patients in cancer drug trial
BREAST cancer patients at a Bristol hospital have been involved in an international trial of a pioneering new drug.
The treatment for the particularly aggressive HER-2 positive form of the disease is the first to attack the cancer in two stages. It starts by blocking the signals which encourage the cancer to grow and spread before releasing chemotherapy to kill the cells from within.
Patients treated with the drug, called trastuzumab emtansine, responded better, for longer and with fewer side effects than those who were given an already-licensed treatment and chemotherapy.
Consultant oncologist at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre Amit Bahl, left, said: "These exciting results show that, for the first time in breast cancer, we have been able to significantly improve efficacy and at the same time reduce many of the unpleasant side effects associated with chemotherapy."
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An application has now been made for the drug to be licensed for use in the UK.