New Breast Cancer Drug Offers Great Hope - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/10/05-Tyler

New Breast Cancer Drug Offers Great Hope

Annice is a wife and mother of two teens and most people would never guess she's been battling breast cancer for 8 years. She almost lost hope she would ever get better until she started taking Abraxane, a treatment recently approved by the FDA.

"Abraxane is a new and improved chemotherapy drug. It will eventually take place of Taxol," says Dr. Gary Gross with the East Texas Blood and Cancer Center. He says Abraxane works twice as well as Taxol and has less side effects. Something Annice noticed right away.

"Abraxane is much easier as far as getting it and not having to get a lot of drugs, that frankly I had difficulty with," says Annice O'Brien.

It works better and has less side effects because it the drug avoids toxic chemicals, and cancer cells crave Abraxane. Researchers theorize that the cancer cells think the drug is actually food.

"The chemotherapy is coated with a protein so it goes right to the cancer cell. It is kind of like putting peanut butter on the crackers. It just makes you want to eat more and it makes the cancer cells want to eat them up, and then they kill the cancer cells," says Dr. Gross.

Another advantage of Abraxane, it doesn't take hours to get in your system.

"It can be given over a few minutes where Taxol takes three hours and with fewer side effects it is going to be a home run," he says.

It's been a home run for Annice. Abraxane stabilized her cancer and she says her hope has been renewed.

"It made me once again feel like I am going to beat this," she says.

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