Roche Drug Approved For Wider Use in Treating Breast Cancer

Breast cancer may soon have a pharmaceutical treatment option that can aggressively target the disease in its early stages. The drug Perjeta was developed by Roche Genentech as a possible treatment option for women with breast cancer to be taken before surgery. Experts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted 13-0 that the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks.

Women who took the drug during the early stages of the disease were more likely to be cancer-free by the time of surgery than those who didn’t. Doctors are hopeful that the drug can reduce the size of tumors, which could make surgery easier and decrease the amount of instances when the entire breast needs to be removed. However, Perjeta is not intended to eliminate the need for surgery. The pre-operation treatment would simply make the procedure less invasive.

Perjeta has recently been fast tracked for approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an action that is typically reserved for groundbreaking therapies that treat a life-threatening disease. The FDA issued a positive review of the first pharmaceutical option for treating early-stage breast cancer, although it has yet to be approved. It’s possible that the FDA will approve the drug as soon as the end of October 2013.

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