New Medicine May Change How Advanced Breast Cancer Is Treated!

A breakthrough treatment for women with an aggressive type of breast cancer has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This new medicine has helped those affected by the disease live longer, such as Atlanta resident Ann Wertz.

Ann played a crucial part in the clinical trials for this new treatment. She was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in May 2005; but in 2011, after the cancer had spread to her liver, bones, and lymph nodes, Ann was told she did not have long to live. With a husband and two children to inspire and push her forward, she began receiving an investigational medicine, called Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine), through a clinical trial. 

That was two years ago!!

HER2-positive breast cancer affects approximately 25% of people with breast cancer; and of those diagnosed, 30% will eventually develop metastatic breast cancer (the cancer will spread to other parts of the body). But now that the FDA has approved the medicine as a new kind of targeted cancer treatment, others, like Ann, may have a chance to live longer lives with their loved ones.

We wanted to know more about this treatment! EverydayFamily’s Shiloh Johnson, director of content, sat down and chatted with Ann and Dr. Robert Hermann, an investigator for a clinical trial of Kadcyla, to learn how HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer is different from other forms of the disease, and why Ann chose this particular trial to participate in.

This is what they had to say:

 

Have you ever participated in a clinical trial? Would you ever consider a clinical trial as an option?

 

 About Ann Wertz:

Ann Wertz was initially diagnosed with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer in May 2005, but then the cancer spread to her liver, bones and lymph nodes. In 2011, Ann learned the cancer had spread again, and she did not have long to live. Ann was determined to fight for more time with her husband and two children, so she started receiving an investigational medicine through a clinical trial. Since then, her cancer has been kept at bay for nearly two years.

Ann relies on the support of her family and her metastatic breast cancer support group during difficult times. Ann encourages other people with breast cancer to “put up a good fight and do your research!”  

HER2-positive breast cancer is characterized by aggressive growth and a poor prognosis, and affects approximately 25 percent of women with breast cancer.

 

About Dr. Robert Hermann (Atlanta Physician):

Robert C. Hermann, MD FACP began his oncology practice at WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in 1984 after he completing his Fellowship in Medical Oncology and Hematology at Emory University. He co-founded Northwest Georgia Oncology Centers, P.C. (NGOC) in 1995 with five other local medical oncologists. Dr. Hermann specializes in treating lymphoma, gastrointestinal cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer.

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As Co-Principal Investigator of NGOC’s William S. Gibbons Cancer Research Institute, Dr. Hermann leads NGOC’s participation in national cancer research and clinical trials. He’s dedicated to finding a cancer cure and providing his patients with the most advanced cancer treatment available in Georgia.

Dr. Hermann also currently serves as Oncology Medical Director for WellStar Health System. and has provided leadership to various WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center committees and national organizations promoting quality and safety in cancer care such as the Community Oncology Alliance.

Dr. Hermann provides patient-centered cancer care at NGOC’s Marietta Cancer Center. 

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New Medicine May Change How Advanced Breast Cancer Is Treated!

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

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