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Breast cancer drug trialled in Truro prolongs life and reduces side effects

By WBMiles  |  Posted: February 13, 2014

RoyalCornwallHospital

The Kadcyla breast cancer drug trialled at Truro prolongs life and reduces side effects.

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A BREAST cancer drug piloted in Truro is being rolled out nationally after it was shown to prolong life.

Trials carried out at the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro showed the drug extended patients’ lives by up to six months with reduced side effects.

The drug, previously known as TDM1 and now known as Kadcyla, is said to mark a breakthrough in that it allows chemotherapy to be delivered directly to cancer cells, destroying them from within.

Duncan Wheatley, clinical oncologist at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said: “Kadcyla works in a different way to other treatments for breast cancer.

“In trials, Kadcyla was shown to prolong the lives of women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, compared with existing therapies, while also minimising many of the side effects associated with standard chemotherapy.”

Many of the side effects associated with standard chemotherapy such as hair loss, severe diarrhoea and fatigue, were reduced in patients taking Kadcyla.

The drug has been approved and listed on the Cancer Drugs Fund meaning that it will be available to patients immediately.

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