Breast cancer: NHS England offers life-saving drug that can make tumour ‘disappear’

According to trials, the drug reduces the chances of the disease progressing by almost two-fifths when used with chemotherapy. Pembrolizumab might also help cancer disappear before surgery which can save women from the need for invasive operations.

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Breast cancer: NHS England offers life-saving drug that can make tumour ‘disappear’

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The new breast cancer drug will be administered to only patients at highest risk and who doctors decide are best suited basis factors that determine whether or not a patient is fit for the treatment

The new breast cancer drug will be administered to only patients at highest risk and who doctors decide are best suited basis factors that determine whether or not a patient is fit for the treatment.

Photo : iStock
New Delhi: The National Health Service (NHS) of England has recently offered a ray of hope for several women battling a deadly form of breast cancer with a new immunotherapy drug. The drug, pembrolizumab, has been approved for use by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) for up to 1600 women in a year – and it is said that the drug can make tumour ‘disappear’. Pembrolizumab will now be used to treat triple-negative breast cancer – an aggressive form of the disease which disproportionately occurs in people aged 40 and less.
According to trials, the drug reduces the chances of the disease progressing by almost two-fifths when used with chemotherapy. Pembrolizumab might also help cancer disappear before surgery which can save women from the need for invasive operations.
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The drug is administered through a drip in the bloodstream to stimulate the immune system to fight cancer cells. The drugs target proteins on the surface of the immune cells which acts as a brake on their debilitating effects. The treatment was offered on the NHS from November 8 onwards. The health body also stated that they have closed a confidential discount deal with the manufacturer MSD to fund the drug immediately with a listed price of £91,000 per patient.
The new breast cancer drug will be administered to only patients at the highest risk and who doctors decide are best-suited basis factors that determine whether or not a patient is fit for the treatment.
“This is a hugely significant moment for women — the NHS has struck a new deal to roll out a potentially life-saving drug for patients suffering with the most aggressive form of breast cancer that has been traditionally very difficult to treat. It is fantastic news for around 1,600 women across the country each year who have either been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer or will be in the coming years — it will give hope to those who are diagnosed, and prevent cancer from progressing, allowing people to live normal, healthy, lives,” said chief executive of NHS England, Amanda Pritchard.

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