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.
19 January 2017
Nearly 1,000 people have had their holidays in Gambia cut short amid growing political unrest in the African state.
18 January 2017
Researchers at Cambridge University may have made a breakthrough in the treatment of Parkinson's disease, according to preliminary findings.
17 January 2017
Stansted Airport has made a bid to become Britain's next hub for long-haul travel, as passengers are promised seamless connection facilities and baggage transfer.
13 January 2017
Long-term goals such as travelling more and visiting new places have come above healthy eating and changing jobs in a list of the top New Year's resolutions.
14 January 2017
Some of the biggest airports in the UK have been forced to cancel flights as snow and blizzard conditions sweep parts of the country.
Stress could be as significant a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes as smoking, drinking and overeating, new research shows.
24 December 2016
Planned strikes by British Airways cabin crew on Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been suspended amid continuing industrial unrest ahead of the weekend break.
11 January 2017
A connection between diabetes and inflection in children could be a major breakthrough in developing a cure for type 1 diabetes, according to new research.
10 January 2017
A new trial aimed at tackling widespread loneliness among older people is successfully reducing isolation using community-based tactics, a report shows.
07 January 2017
People may be able to enjoy better brain health in later life by following a Mediterranean diet, research has suggested.
06 January 2017
Many Britons plan to cut down on the costs of their holidays in 2017, as part of their financial resolutions for the New Year.
05 January 2017
Holidaymakers have been encouraged to make the most of the fact 2017 boasts a pair of bank holiday weekends just two weeks apart.