On Friday, the FDA approved a new drug that's the first of it's kind. It's a drug that will help prolong the lives of women who suffer from breast cancer in the latest stages.
"Any kind of research that we have, that will enable women to survive at greater rates, is always going to be a wonderful thing," said Phyllis Gore, a Harrison Co. resident.
That new research is here. The FDA just approved, what some people are calling, a revolutionary new breast cancer drug. It's called Kadcyla. It's a drug that seeks out tumor cells and leaves normal cells alone. That means fewer side effects. No more hair loss, no more nausea, and no vomiting.
It sounds like a miracle drug. But like all drugs, it has side effects. It can cause liver toxicity, risk for birth defects in pregnant women, and even death.
"I think as long as those are monitored by qualified people, than the risk of getting adverse effects from those will be minimized," added Gore.
Another down side? The price. The drug will cost almost $10,000 a month.
Pastor of a local Harrison Co. Church, Kevin Nuzum said, "With the economy as it is today, and people unsure about their insurance, that certainly could be a negative factor in people using, or even having to ability to get their hands on that drug."
But Gore said, "It would be a hardship for some women, but in the long run, how do you put a price on your life?"
However, even the current popular drugs used to treat breast cancer can cost up to $5,000 monthly. This new drug is only used for women who are in the late stages of breast cancer, metastatic cancer, or HER-2 Positive cancer. Overall, patients who took the drug lived 2.6 years, compared to 2 years using other drugs.
But for some, the risk is worth the reward. "Our research dollars need to go towards that, so that women can have extended lives," added Gore.
For this pastor, whose seen members of his congregation go through the struggle of breast cancer, it's one step closer to finding a cure.
Pastor Kevin Nuzum said, "I think it's good that people can have another choice for something that can help them."
He added, "I think it's just another medical blessing."
Thirty-nine thousand Americans are expected to die from breast cancer this year. It's the second most deadly form of cancer in the U.S., but hopefully this new drug will help lessen those numbers. It should be availabe to the public in the next couple of weeks.
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