Groundbreaking research conducted by San Antonio's START Center is all the buzz at the annual American Association for Cancer Research convention in San Diego, 1200 WOAI news reports.
START oncologist Dr. Amita Patnaik is reporting 'early promise' with a new oral medication which is designed to tackle one of the most terrifying types of cancer today, metastatic breast cancer.
"Breast cancer, like so many other solid cancers, once it has spread, is incurable," Dr. Patnaik said.
She says the new oral drug, which is being developed by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Company, is seen as a major advancement in what are called 'targeted treatments,' drugs which are meant to specifically attack one particular part of the body to slow or reverse the progression of cancer.
Dr. Patnaik says of the 47 patients with metastatic breast cancer, 19% had a partial response, and 51% reported stable disease following 28 days of treatment with the oral drug. Only 11 patients reported no response.
"Once the cancer has progressed beyond its original location, or once it metastasizes, it is very difficult to treat," she said.
She says 18 patients with hormone receptor positive breast cancer are still undergoing treatment, and the drug has been certified for further development for use against breast cancer.
"This is an area which is in desperate need of new therapies," Dr. Patnaik told 1200 WOAI news. "That's why we're so excited about this novel approach."