Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
30 November 2015 08:09
Breast cancer kills around 11,500 people in the UK each year
A combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy could provide the key to treating breast cancer patients who have become resistant to existing drugs, new research suggests.
An international team of scientists tested the dual therapy on mice and say their results were "striking".
Experts at the Breast Cancer Care charity say they hope the study will be followed by further clinical trials and pave the way for the development of better treatments.
Researchers say the fact that the mice stayed free of cancer even after being given fresh tumours suggests the combined treatment provided them with ongoing immune protection.
Breast cancer has not previously been known to respond well to immunotherapy but pairing it with targeted chemotherapy produced some startling results, the research team says.
The therapy prevented tumours in the mice from being able to protect themselves from the immune system, enabling them to be attacked by cancer-fighting immune cells.
The type of cancer used by the team is one known as Her2 positive. It affects up to a fifth of all women with breast cancer and in the majority of cases results in patients becoming resistant to the drug Herceptin and other treatments.
But research leader Dr Philipp Muller, of Switzerland's University of Basel, says the technique made the tumours highly vulnerable to antibody-based immunotherapy.
It saw the mice given a chemotherapy drug and a variety of antibodies, including some which stopped the cancers shielding themselves from the animals' immune systems.
Breast cancer should not mean an end to life's luxuries, and holidaymakers can cover themselves with the help of cancer travel insurance policies.
Breast Cancer Care's Jackie Harris describes the research as interesting and a welcome forward step.
The clinical nurse specialist says the results of the early study open up the possibility of breast cancer patients who have become resistant to current drugs being treated in an alternative way in the future.
She adds that while Her2 positive breast cancer is hard to treat, research will provide the key to more effective treatments being developed.
The new study is published in the Science Translational Medicine journal.
23 September 2016
Theresa May is being urged to give the go-ahead for flights to resume between the UK and Sharm el-Sheikh by the head of the cross-party parliamentary group on Egypt.
22 September 2016
Budget airline Jet2.com is to open its first base in the south of England at Stansted.
21 September 2016
Smoking rates have dropped to the lowest level on record in England, new figures show, suggesting messages about the health effects of cigarettes are hitting home.
20 September 2016
Concerns have been raised over flight disruptions caused by heavy drinking among passengers.
17 September 2016
British Airways' decision to launch direct flights from London to Tehran earlier this month positions Iran as one of the hottest destinations to visit in 2017, according to experts.
16 September 2016
More than 100 flights have been cancelled as French air traffic controllers go on strike again.
15 September 2016
Two thirds of MPs would support an expansion at Heathrow.
14 September 2016
TripAdvisor is launching a new homepage, making the booking of holiday activities and tours even easier.
13 September 2016
Travellers are to be charged to use fast lanes to get through passport checks in an attempt to cut queues.
09 September 2016
People travelling to regions affected by the Zika virus outbreak should practise safe sex for at least half a year upon their return, health leaders say.
08 September 2016
British Airways is apologising to passengers for delays after an IT glitch hit check-in systems.
07 September 2016
Tiny particles that are breathed in and taken into the brain through air pollution could trigger Alzheimer's disease, research finds.