A new clinical trial to see if a rheumatoid medicine prevents cancer resistance to Herceptin will start next year.
I read once again good news for HER2 positive breast cancer patients.
Until Herceptin was invented, the prognosis of HER2 positive was poor. With Herceptin the survival rate has been improved significantly, but Herceptin is not for everyone; it works only for 50% of the patients, and even if it works initially, according to the article, it will lose the effect eventually because cancer develops resistance.
As my cancer hasn’t gone away and metastasized although I have been on Herceptin since the day one of the treatment, I may belong to that unfortunate ineffective group.
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center has found a cause of the resistance and the way to fix it!
A “black hat” is a protein called IL6. It sounds like if the level of IL6 is high, cancer stem cells, which leads to the metastasis or recurrence as well as the resistance, are produced.
IL6 is also responsible for inflammatory disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, etc. and Roche has already developed an IL6 inhibitor as a medicine for rheumatoid arthritis.
The researchers in University of Michigan used this IL6 inhibitor with Herceptin in a study with mice. In the lab, cancer was sensitive all the way to Herceptin without any resistance and kept decreasing!
Even though it is successful with mice, it may not work for human beings, and it will take a long time to become a treatment for patients.
Yet, this may beat resilient cancer like mine. This sounds so hopeful for HER2 positive patents!
Hoping I can hang on until then, I pray for the success of the study.