Drug combo helps women with early breast cancer

December 10, 2010 By MARILYNN MARCHIONE , AP Medical Writer

(AP) -- A new study finds that using two drugs, Herceptin (her-SEPT-in) and Tykerb (TIE-curb), more than doubles the number of women with early breast cancer whose tumors disappear before they are scheduled to have surgery to remove them.

These drugs target a that is overproduced in about one-fourth of all breast cancers. In the study, about 450 women getting chemotherapy were also given Herceptin or Tykerb or both drugs. Half of the women on the combination saw their tumors disappear versus only 20 percent of those taking either drug alone.

GlaxoSmithKline PLC makes Tykerb. Roche's Genentech division makes Herceptin. Doctors discussed the study Friday at a conference in San Antonio.

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