Zeroing in on HER2 marker
> Gene-based treatments for certain variations of breast cancer can provide the best chances for managing the disease
likely to respond to treatment.
Also, younger women are more likely to be HER2-positive than older women.
HER2-positive breast cancer tends to be more aggressive and can spread more quickly than other cancers.
That’s why it’s important to find out if the cancer cells in your body contain this protein.
If your breast cancer is HER2positive, you have a much better chance of successful treatment with methods that target the HER2 protein specifically.
In Malaysia, HER2-positive breast cancer is recorded in 37.3% of breast cancer patients.
HER2-positive breast cancer is more difficult to treat than other forms of breast cancers, but targeted drugs, such as Herceptin, are specificallydesigned to block the growth and spread of cancer cells without damaging healthy cells.
“When a patient is at stage 1 or stage 2, we want to cure them,” says Mohamed Ibrahim.
“When they come to us at stage 4, we want to control the cancer.”
He points out that there have been many advancements made in the treatment of cancer, with something new being discovered each decade.
However, Mohamed Ibrahim cautioned that early detection is still the key to ensuring successful treatment.
Launching a new treatment … Mohamed Ibrahim (centre) with (right) Pantai Hospital consultant clinical oncologist Dr Shazril Imran Shaukat and (far right) Roche Malaysia business unit director Vinod Narayanan.
(below) How HER2-positive breast cancer cells evolved.