Friday, October 21, 2005

The Breast Views Blog: Results of Herceptin studies called stunning

3 Brilliant Observations:

Blogger Sekar said...

Sorry, but Herceptin is not all that it is cracked up to be! However do not despair there is so so much that a woman can do to prevent breast cancer and/or prevent recurrences that are much more effective than any drug. Starting with a naturopath or Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine is a good first step. Checking out breast cancer prevention websites and books is another. Eating low on the food chain, organically if possible, avoiding radiation, chemicals, stress if possible! and getting enough exercise are all good ways to start. Remember we are not programmed to get breast cancer. We are getting it because our environment is increasingly toxic and our breast tissues are extremely sensitive to endocrine disrupting chemicals. You know cling film, plastic bottles, household cleaning chemicals, etc. etc.

"The Herceptin side effects that can occur are deadly and serious conditions. When Herceptin was first introduced in 1998, the seriousness of the Herceptin side effects was not fully known. Due to the reports of deadly and serious Herceptin side effects, the FDA required increased warnings be made regarding Herceptin side effects.

Included in the boxed warnings on the Herceptin side effects labeling sections is information on the risk of suffering from ventricular dysfunction, congestive heart failure, and hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis, infusion reactions, and pulmonary events. The Herceptin side effects have resulted in as little as 24-hours from beginning the medication and have proven to be fatal in some instances".

In Health

12:29 PM  
Blogger Gray Wolf said...

Thank you Sue, both for pointing out the informative article, as well as the previous comment.

As with virtually every drug on the market today, to treat whatever disease, there are side effects that doctors need to a) be fully aware of before prescribing it to their patients, b) fully inform their patients of those possible side effects, so their patients may make an informed decision regarding their path to wellness, and c) they must perform the necessary tests to see if their patients are at risk of experiencing the possible adverse side effects, to be able to mitigate those side effects as much as possible.

As I said in my post, I do not believe that the studies went on long enough for people to come right out and say that this is a cure for HER-2 type cancers. Is it an encouraging step in the right direction? It certainly seems that way on the face of it, and I hope that it, or a similar drug without the possible adverse side effects, does prove to be true, for the sake of the women who are afflicted with this form of breast cancer.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

OK, there is no free lunch. Women benefit when there are more choices, and trastuzumab (herceptin) is a choice in women who are selected because of the particular form of breast cancer that they have, which is more aggressive. It is partly derived from a mouse antibody and like all antibodies can have allergic reactions. It does affect the heart, and can cause heart failure. However with careful monitoring these are manageable.

In a world where progress has been agonising, herceptin has proven to actually make a difference, initially in advanced disese whether added to chemotherapy or on its own. Now it has been demonstrated many times over to improve the outlook in early breast cancer added to chemotherapy but it has been a long battle to get it funded. No, it is not a miracle, we use the 'cure' word very hesitantly in cancer, especially breast cancer. When people say it saves lives, they mean it improves the chances of being alive rather than dead at any one time after treatment. What it has done has make a particularly nasty type of breast cancer behave more like the other types - which may not be wonderful but is an improvement.

11:16 AM  

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