New drug hope for breast cancer
As early as next year, Australians with breast cancer may be able to access a drug that reduces the risk of cancer returning.
HER2+ makes up 15-18% of all breast cancers in Australia, with one in four women diagnosed with this type of cancer suffering a relapse within five years. It is believe that the drug, Nerlynx, could prevent some of these recurrences by up to 27%.
Professor Arlene Chan, a world renowned oncologist based in Perth, explains that “this is a drug that provides a potential cure for some women who may otherwise have had a recurrence.”
“For breast cancer treatment, it is always about improving the protection against the breast cancer coming back because if you can protect the patient against it coming back, they will survive better,” said Prof. Chan, who is also the principal trial investigator for the drug.
Nerlynx, is currently going through regulatory approval with hopes it could be included in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). If successful, patients will be able to seek some reimbursement by the second half of 2019.
An access program for the drub would open in Australia in the first quarter of next year however, as allowed under the Therapeutic Goods Administration guidelines.
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