Women who are at the highest risk of breast cancer are close to having the first non-surgical alternative to radical breast removal.
Melbourne researches have found an existing medication can switch-off cancer-causing cells in their preclinical models.
A concept trial is underway at the Royal Melbourne Hospital but the results are so promising, with researchers saying ti could be the ”holy grail of breast cancer prevention”.
The researchers are now working to fast-track access for young Victorian women.
Research has been going for a long time on trying to find a risk reduction for the 1 in 400 woman who have the BRCA1 mutation, also known as the ”Angelina Jolie gene”, as these women have a 65 per cent chance of developing an aggressive breast cancer before the age of 70.
The drug is called denosumad. By using it and targeting these cancer precursor cells, the results show that injections could cause the cells to switch off at a very early stage.
Prof Lindeman told the Herald Sun ”This is more than a decade’s worth of work, based on the understanding that breast cancer is really a caricature of normal development gone wrong,”
“We speculate that it might help prevent, or at least delay the development of breast cancer as one strategy for buying women time before having to make a decision about a mastectomy.”
It may not be public yet but this looks like a huge step forward.