Women's health

Breast cancer treatment has evolved. Here’s where we are.

There is no “one size fits all approach” when it comes to treating breast cancer. The disease is made up of several subtypes, and ideally each type should be treated with therapies that target the unique underlying biological problems.

Photo
Associate professor of medicine, division of hematology and oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and medical director of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Research Unit.

Fortunately, for the past 25 years, long-term survival and cure rates have significantly improved for women with breast cancer. This is due in large part to the development of drug therapies that target aggressive subtypes of breast cancer such as HER2-positive and ER positive breast cancers. Some of these life-prolonging and life-saving treatments, including Herceptin and IBRANCE, were developed at UCLA. Targeted therapies are now available for approximately 85 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

Dr. Sara Hurvitz, associate professor of medicine, division of hematology and oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and medical director of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinical Research Unit, says that despite these successes there is still work to do. One particularly aggressive subtype called triple negative breast cancer now comprises between 10 to 20 percent of all diagnosed breast cancers, and is challenging to treat.  Recent research focuses on identifying its biological underpinnings so that scientists can develop more effective and less toxic treatments.

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Hurvitz can discuss how breast cancer research has evolved and what types of targeted therapies are available to women with the disease.


Source: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences

09.10.2017

Read all latest stories

Related articles

Photo

Hormones

Stress accelerates breast cancer metastasis

It has long been thought that stress contributes to cancer progression. Scientists from the University of Basel and the University Hospital of Basel have deciphered the molecular mechanisms linking…

Photo

Breast and skeletal health

AI is proving pivotal in women’s health solutions

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is proving pivotal as Hologic evolves its women’s health solutions. With a focus on breast and skeletal health, future steps will see the medical technology company…

Photo

Benefits of childbirth

Breast cancer: Pregnancy gives (delayed) protection

In general, women who have had children have a lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who have never given birth. However, new research has found that moms don’t experience this breast…

Related products