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An estimated 235,000 Americans will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, and breast cancer is expected to account for 29 percent of all new cancers among women.
Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is an advanced and incurable form of the disease in which the cancer has spread from the original location in the breast to other organs in the body. Nearly 155,000 people in the U.S. are living with MBC, and they face a very different battle than women with early breast cancer.
Trends: The statistics above speak to the importance of continued research and progress in cancer treatment.
Researchers continue to study what drives cancer and are looking for ways to enlist the body’s own immune system to attack cancer.
Scientists are also better understanding the subtle differences between cancer cells and normal cells. This enhanced understanding of basic tumor biology is revealing potential new targets for cancer medicines.
The FDA approved two new medicines for HER2-positive MBC within the past two years. Kadcyla is a special type of medicine called an antibody-drug conjugate, which links a powerful chemotherapy to the Herceptin antibody. Perjeta is another medicine, specifically for those who have not been previously treated for HER2-positive MBC. It is approved for use in combination with Herceptin and chemotherapy. Perjeta is believed to work in a way that is complementary to Herceptin.