Saturday 4 June 2022 10:55 PM 'Trojan horse' drug Trodelvy is a lifeline for breast cancer, landmark trial ... trends now
Women with advanced breast cancer have been thrown a lifeline by a breakthrough treatment that could help them stay healthy for longer.
The medicine, Trodelvy, has been dubbed a Trojan horse as it can penetrate tumours, delivering powerful chemotherapy agents that attack cancer cells from the inside.
The highly accurate procedure avoids harming healthy tissue, meaning doctors can give higher doses without worsening side effects.
Trodelvy has already proved effective in patients with triple-negative breast cancer, a notoriously hard to treat form of the disease which accounts for 15 per cent of cases. In these women, the drug can double survival rates.
The results of a landmark trial, announced yesterday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual conference in Chicago, show Trodelvy is highly effective in women with one of the most common types, known as HR-positive HER2-negative breast cancer, which accounts for seven in ten diagnoses.
This means thousands more women could soon benefit from the drug, which is delivered fortnightly by intravenous drip.
One patient to benefit from Trodelvy is Karen Corrigan (above), 42, from Nottingham, who was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in January 2018 after she found a lump in her left breast
More than 150 breast cancer diagnoses are made every day in the UK alone – that's one every ten minutes.
Patients in the study were at an advanced stage of illness and had not responded to treatment. Those given Trodelvy saw a 34 per cent fall in the chances of death or worsening disease within a year, compared with patients on traditional chemotherapy.
Dr Jane Lowe Meisel, a cancer specialist at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, hailed the breakthrough. She said: 'There is a serious unmet need for these patients, who have been through chemotherapy already and have no options left.
'If one of these patients walks into a clinic, with this drug you'll essentially be able to offer them a one-in-five chance of not progressing in a year. That is huge.'
The findings have renewed hope that NHS spending body, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), will also give Trodelvy the green light.
There was disappointment in April when the watchdog rejected the drug, also known as sacituzumab govitecan, as too expensive.
But The Mail on Sunday has learned NICE will meet on Tuesday to restart negotiations with US manufacturer Gilead over the £200,000-a-year per patient price tag.
Trodelvy has already proved effective in patients with triple-negative breast cancer, a notoriously hard to treat form of the disease which accounts for 15 per cent of cases. In these women, the drug can double survival rates. (Posed by models)
Trodelvy is one of a new breed of cancer drugs known as antibody-drug conjugates. These use artificial antibodies – similar to those naturally produced by the immune system – and are designed to hunt down a protein found in cancer cells. They carry a payload of chemotherapy medicine which, when they find their target, they deliver directly into the tumour.
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