FDA approves new drug to stop breast cancer returning

The FDA has approved a new drug that could help thousands of women in the US that have been diagnosed with a particular type of aggressive breast cancer.

Nerlynx will soon be available to try and prevent cancer from returning when patients haven't responded to other treatment options.

“HER2-positive breast cancers are aggressive tumours and can spread to other parts of the body, making adjuvant therapy an important part of the treatment plan,” said Dr Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence and acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

It's estimated that around 15 per cent of all breast cancer patients will be diagnosed with a HER2-positive type, making it much more difficult to reduce the risk of the disease returning.

In order for the FDA to approve the new drug, research was carried out that included more than 2,800 patients with early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. All participants had received other treatment before taking Nerlynx. After two years of taking the drug, 94.5 per cent of patients had not had a recurrence of the disease.