Tags: breast | cancer | shot | drug

Breast Cancer Shot Simplifies Treatment

Friday, 10 August 2012 10:44 AM

Scientists have developed a new way of delivering a commonly used breast cancer drug – through a standard injection – that may soon offer patients an alternative to spending hours in a hospital receiving treatments intravenously.
The technique, reported online in the journal Lancet Oncology, involves administering the anti-cancer drug Herceptin by a quick shot, as opposed to time-consuming IV drips that take several hours over a period of several weeks.
"Our study shows that [the shot] offers a valid alternative to existing intravenously delivered treatments,” said researcher Dr. Gustavo Ismael, with the Amaral Carvalho Hospital in Brazil. “The shortened duration of administration … has the potential to save time for patients, physicians and nursing staff.”
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Women with the form of breast cancer known as HER2-positive – about 1 in 5 of all breast cancers – are typically treated with Herceptin (trastuzumab), along with standard chemotherapy drugs. But the medication is currently delivered intravenously – requiring patients to be connected to an IV drip for 90 minutes for their initial dose and then return for three follow-up visits, over three weeks, for additional 30-minute sessions.
The new study determined standard injections of trastuzumab that take five minutes are as effective as the traditional method of IV delivery. In contrast saving time, the shots have the potential to be self-administered at home with appropriate patient training and support, researchers said.
In an editorial accompanying the study, Javier Cortes of the Vall d´Hebron Institute of Oncology in Spain, said the new technique offers significant advantages beyond simply cutting time and cost to patients for treatment.
“Once the drug can be administered at home, patients will be able to continue their lives with less hospital dependence, which is an important psychological aspect,” he said. “This treatment will also save resources in terms of nurses and cleaning in already crowded hospitals."
SPECIAL: This Small Group of Doctors are Quietly Curing Cancer — Read More.

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New cancer therapy technique, using a standard injection, could replace time-consuming IV treatments.
Friday, 10 August 2012 10:44 AM
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