Science and technology
Chilean researchers developing therapy for breast cancer
A team from the Universidad de Santiago’s Department of Biology have come up with a low-cost treatment for the disease which could be implemented this year.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Category: Education - Technology
It affects millions of women around the world and presents one of the great challenges to medical science, and now a team of Chilean researchers may have come up with the most effective treatment of breast cancer today.
The team of researchers from the Universidad de Santiago say that their treatment is a low cost and high-impact therapy that is designed to treat patients with advanced breast cancer.
“It’s a vaccine that treats the immune system and slows down the metastasis,” biochemist Ximena López told La Tercera, “and as such can prolong and improve the quality of life of patients.”
According to a report by La Tercera, the researchers extracts of the cancerous cells are mixed with two drugs that are designed to help the immune system to recognize the tumor, thereby directing natural defences against the cancer.
Clinical treatment is expected to begin by the end of 2012, when the Universidad de Santiago team will begin administering the treatment to women in Santiago’s Barros Luco-Trudeau hospital, which is part of the public health network.
Biochemists Ximena López explained the treatment in detail to La Tercera, saying that it involved four doses of inoculation with a two week period between each bout, and was designed for patients that are in the late stages of cancer and that are HER2 positive or triple negative, the two most aggressive forms of this disease.
“We want to have an effective cure that we can incorporate into treatments that already exist today,” said Claudio Acuña, neuroimmunological expert and part of the research team. “The bet is that it won’t be a strict therapy and that it will be accessible to patients.”
According to figures of the same national paper, in Chile there are 4,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed of every year, and around 1,200 women die in the period as a result of the disease.