Contributing writer for Wake Up World
A cancer diagnosis is a terrifying prospect — one that we would surely like to avoid at all costs. Through lifestyle choices and consuming a clean diet, we vastly improve our chances of staying healthy and bypassing the disease entirely. But sometimes, regardless of the measures we take, it simply isn’t enough.
Considering 1 in 8 women (about 12%) are diagnosed with breast cancer in the US — with 252,710 new invasive cases and 63,410 non-invasive cases expected to strike in 2017 — new treatment options that hold promise cause ripples of excitement in the medical community and the public alike. If such a medical protocol doesn’t have significant side-effects, even better. But what if it allowed women diagnosed with breast cancer to skip chemotherapy, radiation and surgery altogether — and eliminated the disease in just 11 days?
This is exactly the kind of breakthrough that was presented by Professor Nigel Bundred at the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC-10) in Amsterdam in 2016.
Anti-HER2 Therapy Shown to Dramatically Reduce Tumors
HER2 positive breast cancer is a type of cancer that has a large number of human epidermal growth factor (HER2) receptors on the surface of cancer cells, which stimulate the cells to divide and grow rapidly. Researchers recently discovered that HER2 positive breast cancer responds to targeted therapies using a combination of trastuzumab and lapatinib.
During his presentation of a clinical trial involving 257 women diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer, Bundred — a professor of Surgical Oncology at The University of Manchester and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UK), noted:
“This has ground-breaking potential because it allows us to identify a group of patients who, within 11 days, have had their tumors disappear with anti-HER2 therapy alone and who potentially may not require subsequent chemotherapy. This offers the opportunity to tailor treatment for each individual woman.”
The trial was in two parts: the first involved a control group of 130 women who were randomized to receive no pre-operative treatment, or trastuzumab (Herceptin ®) only, or lapatinib (Tyverb ®) only, for 11 days after diagnosis and before surgery.
However, evidence soon began to emerge in other trials that using a combination of lapatinib and trastuzumab to treat HER2 positive breast cancer is far more effective. In response, the research team amended the second part of their trial and involved 127 women, who were to either receive only trastuzumab, or both lapatinib and trastuzumab. Samples of tumor tissue were taken from the first biopsy of each participant, which had been performed to confirm the cancer diagnosis, and another after surgery. The samples were then analyzed to see if Ki67 protein (a marker of cell proliferation) had dropped, or if cell death (apoptosis) had risen by 30 percent or more.
Results from the second part of the trial showed a quarter of the women with HER2 positive breast cancer, who received the combination treatment for 11 days before surgery and chemotherapy, experienced a significant shrinkage of tumors — some completely disappeared. Even women with Stage 2 cancer, where the cancer had already spread to the lymph nodes, responded to the combination therapy.
Says Professor Judith Bliss, lead researcher from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, which co-led the trial, told the conference:
“These results show that we can get an early indication of pathological response within 11 days, in the absence of chemotherapy, in these patients on combination treatment. Most previous trials have only looked at the pathological response after several months of treatment.” She stressed, “Clearly these results need further confirmation, but I suspect the excitement from seeing the speed of disappearance of the tumours will mean that several trials will attempt to confirm these results.”
Additionally, Professor Bundred emphasizes the usefulness of the discovery to successfully treating HER2 positive breast cancer in the future:
“Other trials have looked at anti-HER2 therapy, with and without chemotherapy, including an assessment of the combination of trastuzumab and lapatinib, and have reported impressive response rates but these trials have only reported results after several months of therapy. Potentially, giving treatment while waiting for surgery can identify a group of patients whose disease is particularly sensitive to anti-HER2 therapy, which would allow individualization of therapy in women with HER2 positive cancers,” said Professor Bundred. [source]
Granted, cancer is complex — this research published in the journal Nature actually found that “breast cancer represents multiple diseases” — and there are no simple solutions. Be that as it may, the results of the trial presented at the EBCC-10 hold promise for finding safe and effect treatments, which ultimately help patients avoid chemotherapy and its devastating side-effects.
About the author:
Carolanne Wright enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years.
Through her website Thrive-Living.net, she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. You can also follow Carolanne on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Recommended articles by Carolanne Wright:
- How Pornography and the Sexualization of Children are Distorting Our Kids’ Perceptions
- Fukushima Nightmare is Far From Over — Radiation Levels Have Just Hit a Record High
- Psychiatric Industry Corruption: 6-Year-Old Boy Committed to a Psych Ward for Throwing a Temper Tantrum at School
- Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD is Largely a Fraud
- Plastic-Eating Mushroom Discovered in the Amazon Rainforest — A Solution for Our Trash Saturated World?
- Over 100 Scientific Studies Agree: Cannabis Annihilates Cancer
- Why Every Parent Should Consider Unschooling
- First U.S. City Produces More Electricity Than It Uses — With 100% Renewable Technology
- If You Care About Animals and the Earth, Here’s Why You Need to Boycott Palm Oil Immediately
- Brain Waves and Binaural Beats: A Gateway to Higher Consciousness, Enhanced Learning and Brain Function
- 85% of Tampons, Pads and Other Feminine Care Products Contaminated with Monsanto’s Cancer-Causing Glyphosate
- Latest Research on CBD Oil Offers New Hope for Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome and Autoimmune Disorders