(Bay Shore, New York) - Lorraine Pace, Founder, Breast Cancer Help, Inc., says women who have survived breast cancer have hope, now that two recent studies revealed that two drugs have proven to be effective in the fight against breast cancer by holding off the disease for extended periods of time.
Results released at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on December 7 and published online at the New England Journal of Medicines showed that two drugs - pertuzumab and everolimus - were proven to hold back the disease more aggressively when given with standard treatment. Studies showed that pertuzumab, when used with standard treatment, held off breast cancer for a median of 18 months, compared to 12 months for those receiving the usual treatment.
In a second study, everolimus - which is sold commercially under the name Afinitor - was found to delay progression of the disease for a median of seven months in women whose breast cancer was progressing, despite treatment with hormone-blocking drugs. Those who only received hormonal therapy had just a three-month delay in the progression of this disease.
Ms. Pace said this is welcome news, considering that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration revoked approval for the drug Avastin because the agency believed that the drug was not effective in the treatment of breast cancer. Her only concern is the prohibitive cost of these drugs which may not be accessible to uninsured breast cancer survivors. According to Novartis AG, which manufactures Afinitor, a one-month supply costs $11,000.
"These new medications prove to be very promising for breast cancer survivors," she said. "I was very happy to see two drugs that can prolong the lives of breast cancer survivors. My only concern is the cost; those who do not have health insurance are unable to pay it, and for those with health insurance the question becomes whether the insurance companies will cover it. Hopefully, we will soon find a cure in the near future and we will not have to worry about our children and grandchildren getting this horrible disease; I hope to see this happen in my lifetime."
For more information, call (631) 675-9003 or visit www.breastcancerhelpinc.org.
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Breast Cancer Help, Inc. is a not-for-profit grass roots organization with a focus on action and advocacy to eradicate breast cancer. Founded in 1994 by Lorraine Pace, a two time breast cancer survivor, and Father Thomas Arnao, Breast Cancer Help, Inc. uses a four pronged approach to promoting education and awareness of breast cancer issues. The first of these prongs is the West Islip breast cancer mapping project initiated by Lorraine Pace, which mobilized patients and pinpointed breast cancer clusters. This original mapping project, which spearheaded the breast cancer environmental movement, has now spread to other parts of New York, the U.S. and internationally. Since its inception, the group's goal has been to raise awareness and promote education for the cause, treatment, and cure of the disease; while maintaining a focus on action and advocacy to eradicate breast cancer. It has accomplished this by mobilizing patients into coalitions leading to breast cancer mapping projects, serving as advocates to change state and local laws to protect breast cancer patients, and working to bring about positive changes in protecting the environment. Breast Cancer Help, Inc. has helped to ensure that Long Islanders have access to the best possible diagnosis and care through the purchase of cutting edge medical and research equipment. It has also supported research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. In 2003, Breast Cancer Help opened its Long Island Cancer Help and Wellness Center, now located at 32 Park Avenue in Bay Shore to provide increased cancer awareness to promote education and early detection while providing patients and survivors with much needed support.