June 5, 2012- The U.S Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday that they are moving up the time frame for the testing of new drugs for the treatment of breast cancer. Its hope is it will give more women who suffer from aggressive, early-stage cancers a chance to use breakthrough drugs at the time a cure is still possible.
The new document issued by the FDA allows drug companies to test medication for a certain time period on women with aggressive breast cancer, before they are faced with surgery, instead of having to wait until the new drug is first proven in patients who are gravely ill.
The aim is to introduce drugs in the early stages of the cancer where the patient has one primary tumor and before surgery, they receive chemotherapy. The goal is curing the woman of her breast cancer, by using a very promising medication in the early stage of the cancer with an intent on curing it.
If the new drug were to succeed in eradicating a cancer to where no sign of the cancer is in the lymph nodes or breast, then the drug company would win an accelerated approval from the FDA. That is a very significant change from the approach that is currently used where drugs that are promising are only tested in early stage cancer once they have proven to be effective and safe in other advanced cancer.