Trastuzumab ( Herceptin ) -research And Development

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Trastuzumab (Herceptin)-Research and Development
Introduction
Cancer is the uncontrollable division and growth of abnormal cells resulting in formation of an aggressive tumour. In some forms of Breast cancer, the cells proliferate uncontrollably due to over-expression of the protein HER2 (Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2); a receptor embedded within the membrane of cells, allowing for the transfer of signals outside to inside the cell. Trastuzumab is a monoclonal antibody administered through intravenous infusion, to be taken on its own or in combination with one or more chemotherapy regimens. It reduces risk of the cancer reoccurring or spreading by inhibiting the effects of HER2, and enhancing the body’s immune system.
Breast cancer through history
Breast cancer has been acknowledged for centuries, with records dating as far back as the ancient Egyptians, over 3500 years ago (1). However diagnosis, research and progress throughout history have been slow due to it being a matter of taboo and humiliation. In 1957 the idea of surgically removing the tumours was suggested by Henri Le Dran, introducing mastectomy to the 20th century; the first scientific step in acting against cancer. Radical mastectomy lengthened survival, however was often declined due to the disfigurement left behind. To overcome this, Bernard Fisher published results from ‘breast conserving’ surgery accompanied by radiation or chemotherapy, which were ‘just as effective’ as a radical mastectomy (1).
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