UCL News


Genetic breast cancer drug hope

1 May 2006

Women with hereditary breast cancer who have seen the disease return are to take part in a ground-breaking study.

It will compare carboplatin, a platinum-based drug not normally used to treat breast cancer, with standard chemotherapy treatment. …

Women who have been diagnosed with a faulty BRCA1 or 2 gene and whose breast cancer has returned elsewhere in the body will be eligible.

Some groups have a higher risk of having faults in these genes.

Around one in 44 Ashkenazi Jews carry a change in their BRCA genes compared to less than one in 100 people in the non-Jewish population. …

Dr James Mackay [UCL Oncology], who is leading the study, said: "This trial is unique because it is the first to treat a specific genetic population of breast cancer patients.

"It is also unusual for a drug to move directly from studies in the lab to trials with patients so quickly.

"But, because this is an established drug which is routinely used for the treatment of ovarian cancer, it has moved swiftly into trials and could be available to patients within five years if it proves to be effective." …

BBC News Online