Just in time for Breast Cancer Awareness month comes a major breast cancer breakthrough. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval to the drug Perjeta for use on patients with early stage breast cancer before surgery. The drug's intended use? For patients with "HER2-positive, locally advanced, inflammatory, or early stage breast cancer who are at high risk of having their cancer return or spread or of dying from disease." The quick explanation? This is the first drug for pre-operative breast cancer treatment EVER approved by the FDA. Translation: This is a big deal.
So what's this accelerated approval business mean? Well, that patients will have access to the drug as trials continue. Apparently, a promising study showed that the drug is effective, which is all the FDA needed to see to give it the go-ahead.
It's ... exciting, and couldn't come at a better time.
So what's the goal of using Perjeta? Well, doctors hope that using the drugs earlier could aid in shrinking tumors, making them easier to remove. Even better news? It's possible that some women who use the drug could be able to keep their breasts instead of having a full mastectomy. This. Is. Huge.
As time goes, we can only hope that major strides like the approval of Perjeta continue to help us fight breast cancer. Considering breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women in the U.S., every new stride can make a major difference.
Have you or someone you know been affected by breast cancer?
Image via Steve Snodgrass/Flickr