WASHINGTON (AP) — A biotech drug from Roche is the first medicine approved to treat breast cancer before surgery, offering an earlier approach against one of the deadliest forms of the disease.
The Food and Drug Administration approved Perjeta for women with a form of early-stage breast cancer who face a high risk of having their cancer spread to other parts of the body.
Surgery to remove tumors is usually the first step in treating most forms of cancer. Perjeta is the first drug to be approved as a pre-surgical step.
Doctors hope that using cancer drugs earlier could help shrink tumors, making them easier to remove. In some cases, that could allow women to keep their breasts, rather than having a full mastectomy.
Doctors also say that treating the disease at its earliest stages could prevent tumors from returning later, though studies have not yet established that benefit.
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