Anna Jones has learned a thing or two about staying strong and being positive in her long, dogged fight against cancer. In 2004, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, an aggressive HER2-positive form of the disease, which was incurable. Despite the devastating diagnosis, Anna decided to fight the disease just as aggressively; after all, she had a lot to live for–a devoted husband, two loving daughters and two grandchildren. After trying nine different therapies, Anna is now looking forward to a positive result with the latest immunotherapy drug, code named R06874281.
In this revolutionary new treatment for breast cancer, R06874281 (developed by Roche) will be given to Anna in combination with Trastuzumab (brand name Herceptin). The plan is to use Trastuzumab to make the cancer cells more visible to the immune system, while at the same time, using the new drug to stimulate the body’s immune system and destroy the cancer cells more effectively. This treatment also has potentially less side effects compared to the traditional interleukin 2 treatment.
While RO6874281 has been tested in a safety trial, it has never been delivered to patients with Herceptin before. There are plans to conduct a worldwide study that includes 60 patients and the principal investigator for the trial, Professor Andrew Wardley, has this to say, “This is an exciting and very novel form of therapy, especially for breast cancer, and I’m delighted that our patient Anna will be the first to benefit from this treatment.”
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Breast cancer is the most common cancer type among females; and in the United Kingdom alone it causes more than 11,000 deaths and 55,000 new cases each year, and HER2-positive form of the cancer is responsible for 20 percent of all the cases. So, while Anna hopes that the new drugs will work for her, she is also happy to know that other people will potentially benefit in the future from this research. “It would be a good legacy to leave,” she says with a smile.Leave a reply