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9 Mar 2013

Breast Cancer Drug Approved for Use in Wales

A drug for the treatment of those who have relapsed into HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer has been approved for use in Wales.

The All Wales Medical Strategy Group recommended the use of the drug Tyverb (lapatinib) with capecitabine to treat patients with this particular strain of the disease where the Wales Patient Access Scheme is used.

Professor Peter Barrett-Lee of the Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff said: "We are now able to offer our patients a targeted tablet therapy which has shown an improvement in progression free survival against capecitabine alone, a commonly used chemotherapy regimen."

HER2 is a particular type of protein that can be overexpressed in breast cancer tumours. Generally, patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer have lower survival rates and worse prognosis than those whose tumours are HER2-negative.

According to statistics from Cancer Research UK, 11,556 women and 77 men in Britain died of breast cancer in 2010.

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