A Cancer Research UK-funded trial, has discovered a drug combination that could potentially lead to fewer breast cancer patients requiring chemotherapy treatment.

The study found that when Herceptin was used in combination with another drug called lapatinib, a quarter of 66 patients with HER2 positive breast cancer, who received the combination of drugs between diagnosis and surgery, saw their tumours rapidly shrink or disappear within less than two weeks.

It is thought that the combined drug treatment could potentially mean some HER2 positive breast cancer patients would not need to undergo chemotherapy treatment.

The results of the trial were presented at the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference in Amsterdam.

Madeleine Pinschof, a senior clinical negligence solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors in Bristol, said: “Although this research is in its infancy, the possibility that fewer women might require chemotherapy treatment makes this very exciting.”

“Any advance is welcome but ensuring patients receive a prompt and accurate cancer diagnosis, remains pivotal to improving prognosis and survival rates – something that can only be achieved by a properly resourced NHS from appropriate government funding.”