“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a first-of-a-kind breast cancer medication that targets tumor cells while sparing healthy ones.
The drug Kadcyla from Roche combines the established drug Herceptin with a powerful chemotherapy drug and a third chemical linking the medicines together. The chemical keeps the cocktail intact until it binds to a cancer cell, delivering a double-shot of anti-tumor poison.
Cancer researchers say the drug may offer a clear advantage over older drugs because it delivers more medication with fewer side effects.
The FDA approved the new treatment for about 20% of breast cancer patients with a form of the disease that is typically more aggressive and less responsive to hormone therapy. These patients have tumors that overproduce a protein known as HER-2.