Radiation risk, new drugs top studies at cancer meeting
CHICAGO, ILL.; June 4, 2012 (WPVI) -- The annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists, or ASCO, provided news of many advances in fighting cancer.
A new study shows kids who undergo chest radiation for cancer face a much greater risk for breast cancer when they become adults.
Chest radiation is used to treat Hodgkins Lymphoma.
This study found that 30-percent of girls who were treated for this developed breast cancer by the age of 50. That's compared to 4-percent in the general population.
Still, this study goes back many years. Today, they use lower doses of radiation.
Also on the cancer front, a new drug cocktail for breast cancer continues to generate excitement.
It is a targeted treatment for cancers with the HER-2 gene.
It combines the existing drug 'Herceptin' with another drug called DM1.
The combination---called T-DM1 stays together until it reaches the cancer cells - then it attacks the cancer...But leaves the healthy cells alone.
In tests, women with advanced cancer saw their risk of dying drop by 38 percent, compared to women taking conventional cancer drugs.
For 28-year-old Bridget Spencer... It stopped her cancer from progressing for 9 months, and gave her new hope.
"Every day I get up and go to work and dream about celebrating my 30th birthday and one day living in a world that we're free of breast cancer," says Spencer.
The drug is NOT on the market yet - it still needs government approval, which could be about a year away.
In the meantime, about a dozen trials are underway or about to start, including several in our area.
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