Ze­ro­ing in on HER2 marker

> Gene-based treat­ments for cer­tain vari­a­tions of breast cancer can pro­vide the best chances for manag­ing the dis­ease

The Sun (Malaysia) - - FEATURE -

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.

SHAHRILL BASRI/ THESUN

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.

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