The FDA has approved a new breast cancer drug that avoids healthy cells while it targets tumors, reported the Associated Press.
The drug, Kadcyla, is a combination of a chemotherapy drug, another drug called Herceptin, and a chemical that keeps them combined until the drug cocktail meets the tumor.
Scientists tell the AP that the new drug can help cancer patients avoid the side effects associated with chemotherapy. Dr. Melody Cobleigh, from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Ill., told the AP that because it “explodes” tumors “from within,” there is “no hair loss, no nausea, no vomiting.”
The FDA approved Kadcyla for about 20 percent of breast cancer patients — those who have a particularly aggressive type of the cancer and have already taken Herceptin and another chemotherapy drug, taxane.
But doctors can prescribe drugs for patients who don’t meet those FDA guidelines, and some say it could help women with breast cancer in earlier stages.
A study released last year found that people taking Kadcyla lived about 2.6 years, while those taking other breast cancer drugs lived about 2 years, according to the AP.
[Image via AFP/Chris Hondros]