New pill for breast cancer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New pill for breast cancer


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- New drugs are offering a promising new option for women battling breast cancer.

Baylor Breast Cancer specialist Dr. Cynthia Osborne calls it one of the biggest cancer treatment breakthroughs of her career.

Dr. Osborne has been assisting with studies of a new class of anti-cancer pills called parp inhibitors.

"As a class of drugs, these are definitely going to change the face of breast cancer for these types of breast cancer patients." said Dr. Osborne.

Two new studies suggest the drug kills cancerous tumors in patients genetically predisposed to developing cancer.  Patients with mutations in the BRCA 1 and 2 genes.

"These were very difficult to treat patients in the past and now I have an option besides standard chemotherapy," said Dr. Osborne.

Dr. Osborne says unlike chemotherapy, the pills target only the cancerous cells and leave the healthy ones unharmed.

While the studies so far have been small, the results have been anything but.  Most patients saw their cancer stop, or start to go away.

Also encouraging, the new pills cause none of the side effects associated with chemotherapy like nausea, vomiting or hair loss.  Doctors say patients interested in trying this drug should seek out clinical trials at

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