A DRUG that can help breast cancer ‘disappear’ has been approved for use on the NHS.
About 1,600 patients who have triple negative breast cancer you will be offered pembrolizumab to take along with other treatment options.
Triple negative breast cancer is a less common but more aggressive type of breast cancer.
It affects about 8,000 women a year and accounts for about 15 percent of all cases of breast cancer, the National Health Service He says.
It is more common among younger patients, black women, and people who have the BRCA1 gene.
used together with chemotherapythe NHS says it can reduce the chances of breast cancer progressing by nearly two-fifths.
NHS Chief Executive Amanda Pritchard said it is a very significant moment for women.
“This is fantastic news for the around 1,600 women across the country each year who have been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer or will be in the next few years – it will give hope to those who are diagnosed and prevent the cancer from progressing allowing people to live a normal, healthy life,” he said.
The drug works by stimulating the body’s immune system to fight cancer cells.
It does this by targeting a specific protein on the surface of certain immune cells that then seek out and destroy cancer cells.
It is given to patients directly through the bloodstream every three to six weeks for a year.
Charity breast cancer nowsaid today that it was “delighted” by the news that the NHS will recommend the drug for routine use.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, CEO of Breast Cancer Now, said the treatment must now also be assessed by the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) so that even more women across the UK have a chance to benefit from it.
“It is fantastic news that the immunotherapy pembrolizumab has been recommended for routine use on the NHS as a treatment option for approximately 1,600 eligible patients with triple-negative primary breast cancer.
“This less common but often more aggressive type of breast cancer is more common in women with an inherited BRCA gene, women younger than 40, and black women, and the risk of triple-negative breast cancer coming back and spreading to other parts of the body in the first few years after treatment is higher than for other types of breast cancer.
The 7 signs of breast cancer you should know
There are seven signs of breast cancer to watch out for, doctors say.
- Change in the size or shape of the breasts
- redness or rash
- nipple discharge
- Swelling in the armpit or around the collarbone
- Change in skin texture
- constant pain
- an inverted nipple
For more information visit Breast cancer care.
“However, for too long, patients with this type of breast cancer have faced the terrifying reality of limited treatment options.
“This new treatment can potentially lead to any detectable cancer disappearing at the time of surgery, which means that patients are potentially facing less invasive breast-conserving surgery.
“Furthermore, by significantly reducing the chance that breast cancer will recur or spread to other parts of the body where it becomes an incurable secondary breast cancer, this treatment offers valuable hope of potentially saving more lives from this devastating disease.” said Baroness Morgan.
NHS England says it has already reached an agreement with the manufacturer to get the drug to patients in a timely manner.
NHS Specialist Commissioning Director John Stewart said this latest deal shows the power of the health service to agree deals on the latest medicines and treatments for patients.
“Pembrolizumab is the second drug the NHS has secured for women with triple-negative breast cancer this year, and only the latest in a series of commercial drug deals struck by the NHS to ensure patients have access to the best treatments. possible,” he added. .