A new study has found that a breast cancer drug, which was not approved by the NHS rationing body, could help in extending the lives by almost five years of the people diagnosed with an advanced form of the disease.
Drug maker Roche’s Perjeta when used as a combination therapy along with the chemotherapy and Herceptin can help in treating an aggressive type of breast cancer in women that has been very hard for the doctors to treat.
The combination of drug is prescribed for those women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, where cancer cells possess particularly high levels of a protein called HER2.
Perjeta has already been termed as the biggest advancement in treatment of advanced breast cancer since the introduction of Herceptin in 1999.
In August 2013, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence turned down Perjeta’s draft guidance on lines of insufficient evidence about the drug’s overall impact on survival that would make it recommendable for the widespread use.
But the findings of the new study, which were presented before the European Society of Medical Oncology in Madrid, showed that the drug combination helped in extending breast cancer survival by over four and a half years among women diagnosed with previously untreated advanced HER2-positive type of breast cancer.