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A giant little step in cancer treatment opening up new therapeutic horizons
Date:2/27/2012

Barcelona, 27 February 2012. A study headed up by the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) heralds a new horizon in the fight against cancer, opening up a parallel dimension to existing treatment options. The data, published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, demonstrate that by combining two drugs that had already been used on a patient in the past but had stopped working, they boost each other's efficacy and at the same time manage to break down the patient's resistance to each of them individually, presenting a third potential treatment option for clinically advanced metastatic tumours.

While this may not initially appear to be an innovation, given that combined treatments are used in cancer as a matter of course, it actually represents a radical change in the use of the existing therapeutic weaponry, an extremely practical solution and a source of hope for many patients. "The novelty factor does not lie in the combination itself, but in the combination of two drugs that had already been administered in the past and had each failed", explained Dr Javier Corts, the Head of the Breast Cancer Programme at the VHIO and main author of this work. This not only offers new alternatives for patients with advanced tumours the most important aspect but also opens up a parallel dimension of new therapeutic options to the existing treatments, given that it offers numerous combinations between existing pharmacological treatments that not only boost each other but also counteract patients' resistance to them. "The study focused on HER2 positive breast cancer, although the concept could be applied to the treatment of other tumours", continued Dr Corts.

Breast tumours occur most frequently in Western women. In Spain alone, some 24,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, and it is calculated that one in every eight or nine women in this country will suffer from breast cancer. Although the many advances over recent years in screening,
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Contact: Amanda Wren
awren@vhio.net
34-695-207-886
Vall dHebron Institute of Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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