Local Health Alert: Ground-Breaking Research In Mid-South In Fight Against Breast Cancer

Local News

Cures for the second-leading cause of cancer death among women could be found in the Mid-South. Groundbreaking research is working to fight the disease for patients who aren’t responding to the current standard of care.

The statistics are scary. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Of those cases, 70% will face a type that’s estrogen receptor-positive, meaning cancer cells grow in response to the hormone. Research for drugs to fight this is constant.

“Ultimately, they have to go into people and we have to test them against the best standard therapy to make progress,” says Dr. Lee Schwartzberg, the Executive Director of West Cancer Center.

Dr. Schwartzberg says every patient facing cancer should ask their doctor if there’s a clinical trial for them. Two targeted therapies at West Cancer Center have recently been approved by the FDA, using pills, Palbociclib and Ribociclib, to stop the cancer cells’ growth.

“It basically blocks cancer cells from dividing,” says Dr. Schwartzberg.

They’re called CDK46 inhibitors, and they’re administered with a hormone blocker for patients whose aggressive cancer has returned.

Patients take two-pills a day. Dr. Schwartzberg says there are few side effects, and no chemotherapy is needed.

“We’ve doubled the length of time that people live with cancer before it progresses, we’re improving survival with these drugs,” says Dr. Schwartzberg.

Saving lives and taking large steps in the fight against the deadly disease. “We’re curing more women with breast cancer.”

West Cancer Center is just starting another preventative therapy using a similar inhibitor for women whose aggressive breast cancer has not returned, but who are considered high risk.

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