Your Health: A new treatment for breast cancer

1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It's the second leading cause of cancer death for women, behind lung cancer.
Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 1:44 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 28, 2022 at 1:50 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It’s the second leading cause of cancer death for women, behind lung cancer.

After years of clinical trials, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved an exciting new targeted therapy for women with one form of metastatic breast cancer.

This year, 264,000 women will get a breast cancer diagnosis. Of those, 50-60% will have a type of cancer called HER2 low, which means the tumors have low levels of the HER2 protein on the surface of the cancer cell.

Now, the FDA has approved a treatment called Enhertu for metastatic HER2 low breast cancers that cannot be surgically removed.

“This actually attaches a little bit of chemotherapy to it and makes it superior to a lot of other things we’ve had before,” says Dr. Adam Brufsky, a medical oncologist.

For women whose breast cancer had not spread, the standard treatment was chemotherapy. But for metastatic HER2 low cancer, there were few additional options - until clinical trials showed Enhertu kept cancer at bay better than other treatments.

“It’s a therapy that basically, at least doubles the amount of time that women can live with their disease without the cancer progressing,” says Dr. Brufsky.

Enhertu is delivered as an IV drip once every three weeks.

“It improves our overall survival, even if they’ve had multiple other therapies in the past. And I think it’s something really that 75-80% of our women with metastatic breast cancer can now get,” says Dr. Brufsky.

Extending and improving patients’ quality of life.

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