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Drug mix to kill breast cancer cells

In a world first, breast cancer researchers at The Royal Melbourne Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, successfully combined a drug that has shown promise in the treatment of chronic leukaemia with therapy used to treat breast cancer.

It is the first time the Melbourne-designed drug Venetoclax, which can “melt away” blood cancer cells and has left one in five end-stage blood cancer patients disease-free, has been used in a tumour.

In the trial, 42 women with metastatic hormone receptor positive breast cancer were treated with Venetoclax — double the dose used in blood cancer — alongside the conventional hormonal drug tamoxifen. In three-quarters of the women, the tumours reduced or became stabilised for at least six months and more than half of patients experienced a dramatic shrinking of tumours.

You can read more about the trial on the Royal Melbourne Hospital’s website.