‘Made-to-measure’ cancer treatment could be a step closer after scientists developed a way to predict responses to a breast cancer drug, it has been reported.
The report showed that the drug Herceptin is used to treat breast cancer, but its efficacy can vary from case to case. Researchers at Edinburgh University claim to have created a model which predicts this reaction.
The amount of the protein HER2 found in cancer cells currently determines whether the drug is used, while scientists also claim to have identified a different protein involved in resisting treatment.
After examining 122 samples of metastatic breast cancer, the Breakthrough Breast Cancer research unit found patients with high levels of the resistance protein survived 22 months longer than those with low levels.
Writing in the journal Cancer Research, pathologist Dr Dana Faratian said: ‘The impact of this new approach could be huge.
‘It shows we can use computer modelling to answer clinical questions and potentially refine the treatment of women with breast cancer.’