New breast cancer drug a ‘huge step forward’

A new breast cancer drug has been hailed as ‘huge step forward’ in survival.

An innovative new breast cancer ‘smart drug’ that will give women with an advanced form of breast cancer an extra six months of life has been hailed as a ‘huge step forward’ in treatment by health charities.

Known as T-DM1 and made by Roche, the drug works against a highly aggressive form of disease, combining the drug Herceptin with chemotherapy in one dose. It is expected that 1,300 women a year will benefit from the treatment. 

The drug, the first of its kind for the treatment of breast cancer, is marketed as Kadcyla. It will now be available for NHS patients via the national cancer drugs fund, which will pay costs averaging around £44,000 per patient.

Health charities said that Kadcyla would offer some more precious time to hundreds of terminally ill women, while saving them from many of the unpleasant side effects associated with conventional treatments.