Tykerb helpful in reducing stem cells in breast cancer

4/21/2008

LONDON A new cancer drug called Tykerb from GlaxoSmithKline may help stop breast cancer from recurring because of its ability to decrease tumor-causing breast cancer stem cells, according to published reports.

Dr. Angel Rodriguez from the Lester and Sue Smith Breast Center, Baylor College of Medicine in Houston engaged in a study that involved 45 patients with breast cancer and showed a significant amount of tumor regression within six weeks of treatment, according to published reports.

Tykerb is also identified as lapatinb and works by targeting cell surface receptors, which may be helpful in terminating cancer in the long run. According to Dr. Rodriguez, "Rather than the broad brush approach, in which cells are killed indiscriminately, targeting the stem cells may be more effective and also prevent some of the unpleasant side effects associated with conventional chemotherapy treatment."

It costs $2,000 to $3,000 a month to purchase Tykerb in the United States, and according to published reports, Glaxo feels that Tykerb has the qualities to become a blockbuster medicine, although its sales have been low.

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