A new drug has been proven to aid in the treatment of a certain type of breast cancer in which women produce an excess of the protein HER2. This form of cancer affects approximately 25-30% of women diagnosed with breast cancer. Bristol-Myers Squibb filed for a drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for marketing approval of the drug, Taxol.
Taxol will be combined with Genetech Inc.’s drug Herceptin (which blocks the expression of a gene that contributes to tumor growth) to treat metastatic breast cancer. Presently, Taxol is used in combination with cisplatin for the treatment of ovarian cancer.
Genetech conducted a study on 469 women being treated for HER2 mesastatic breast cancer. Those who received the combination therapy of Taxol and Herceptin had a 38% success rate compared with only 15% of the women treated with Taxol.