A new drug developed by Genentech called T-DM1 has undergone clinical trials where it was shown not only to kill the cancer cells, but the side effects to the patient were greatly reduced. The problem with most traditional treatment of cancer is that the drug kills healthy cells alongside the cancerous ones. New treatments, called antibody-drug conjugates, being trialled by pharma companies are combatting this problem by drugs that release toxins directly to the cancer cells and not the healthy cells around it, reducing side effects substantially. A late stage clinical trial showed "about 84.7 per cent of patients getting T-DM1 were alive after one year, compared with 77 per cent of those in the control group. By another commonly used measure called the hazard ratio, T-DM1 reduced the risk of death by 38 per cent," reported SMH's Andrew Pollack.
To read more from SMH Andrew Pollack's "New breast cancer drug shown to prolong life" click here