Scientists In Amsterdam Just Destroyed Breast Cancer Tumors In 11 Days Without Chemotherapy


For many women, breast cancer may seem like a death sentence. Around 1 in 8 American women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime but a clinical trial may have found a way to rid us of it once and for all in the future.

Breast cancer breakthrough
The recent Cancer Research UK-funded trial found that it is possible to treat breast cancer without needing to undergo chemotherapy. Remarkably, thanks to a cocktail of two breast cancer drugs known as Herceptin (Trastuzumab) and Tyverb (Lapatinib), 11 percent of the cancers were found to have entirely disappeared within just two weeks. A further 17 percent of cases featured dramatically shrunken tumors after a simple change in treatment.

The two drugs are commonly used in breast cancer treatment already, but this is the first time they had been combined together and used before surgery and chemotherapy. Researchers aimed to use these drugs to combat a protein called HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) which affects the growth and division of cancer cells.


Researchers aimed to use these drugs to combat a protein called HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) which affects the growth and division of cancer cells.

Some cancerous breast cells have a very high number of HER2 receptors and they are called HER2 positive breast cancers. It’s estimated that 15-25% of female breast cancer patients suffer from an HER2 positive cancer. HER2-positive breast cancers are aggressive and can require extensive treatment to cure. Plus, these cancers are more likely to return.

What also makes this treatment so appealing is the fact that it eliminates the need for chemotherapy and surgery. The temporary side effects like hair loss, vomiting and fatigue are also avoided, making treatment less impactful on the body. Chemotherapy is not entirely effective, nor is it the right choice for a lot of patients, so any alternatives are welcomed.

Study results
257 women with HER2 positive breast cancer were selected for the study, with half being put on the drug combo and the other half were the control group. What they found was that of those on the drug, 11% had no cancer cells remaining within two weeks and 17% of cases featured dramatically shrunken tumors.

The control group, which received just Herceptin, saw none of the participants cancer-free and only 3% experiencing a reduction in tumor size. Clearly, the combination Herceptin & Tyverb was powerful.

Unfortunately, Herceptin’s licensing only allows it to be available in conjunction with chemotherapy. Hopefully, the results of this study can change that.

Although there’s still a lot of work to be done, hopefully, this is a major step in the fight against one of the world’s deadliest diseases. With medical advancements improving every year, it’s entirely possible this could happen sooner than we think!