Here is an article about an almost 30% increase in survival rates among stomach cancer patients who add trastuzumab to standard cisplatin/fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy.

Good news–but don’t get too excited about the news. Read all about it in this article on Yahoo Health:

Drug Appears to Prolong Survival in Stomach Cancer Patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) — Use of the drug trastuzumab in addition to chemotherapy can extend stomach cancer patients’ survival by nearly three months, a new study has found.

However, an editorial accompanying the study questions whether the treatment is cost-effective. The study and comment were both published in the Aug. 19 online edition of The Lancet.

The ToGA study, which included 584 patients at 122 centers in 24 countries with HER2-positive advanced gastric cancer, found that the addition of trastuzumab to standard cisplatin/fluoropyrimidine chemotherapy resulted in a median survival of 13.8 months, compared with 11.1 months for patients who received chemotherapy alone — a 26 percent difference.

The findings of the phase 3 clinical trial suggest that using trastuzumab with chemotherapy should be considered a new standard option for patients with this type of stomach cancer, said Yung-Jue Bang, of Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, and colleagues.

Every day is precious. But adding less than 3 months to a patient’s median survival rate is hard to get excited about–unless you are one of those patients, have good insurance and the side-effects aren’t too bad.

Read more about it–including how British officials may not approve it’s use over there due to high cost for a small return.
U.K. experts questions the cost-effectiveness of the treatment.

Feel good and keep smiling! Pat & Pattie

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