As time passes by, there are more and more challenges to health. Even though there are many problems that no longer exist, other deadly diseases are now more common. One of them is bowel cancer.
Cancer, in general, is extremely hard to treat. Therefore, health professionals always advise focussing more on prevention so it does not develop in the first place.
However, with factors such as an increase in exposure to chemicals and substances due to pollution, this is not easy. Many of the people are not even aware of what may cause cancer. An increase in research is then very important to develop a potential treatment for cancer.
In the case of bowel cancer, the patients usually live up to ten years or a few more. For those who have a more severe form of the disease, life expectancy can only be of months.
Statistically, the cases of bowel or colorectal cancer are increasing on a yearly basis. Its risk factors come from different parts of a person’s lifestyle. This may range from diet to the job of the person.
Contributing to research on this cancer, a new study presents a potential alternative treatment. It shows how a combination of different therapies can work without the involvement of chemotherapy.
The study was also shown at the ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer in 2019. Its findings are in the journal Annals of Oncology.
Read the study here.
What Was the Research Methodology?
In colorectal cancer, the main factor comes from protein production by the BARF gene in humans. Generally, the function of the gene is to help with cell growth and support. However, a mutation in the gene – BARF V600E mutation causes malfunction.
Consequently, there is an abnormal division of the cells and the person develops bowel cancer. Around fifteen percent of the cases happen due to this very gene mutation. The majority of the treatments usually do not work for this specific type of cancer.
Most of the times, even chemotherapy fails to control cell growth as the cancer is too aggressive. The new study, also called BEACON CRC Phase III trial, was therefore fundamental at the moment.
The main focus of the new research on how using three drugs in a combination can be more effective. Out of the two drugs, one was a BARF inhibitor. The rest of the two worked more on the cancer cells.
In order to conduct the study, around 665 people were recruited. Almost all of the participants had not responded to their last treatments. They were then divided into three groups.
One had all of the three following drugs: cetuximab, binimetinib, and encorafenib. The second had cancer-treating cetuximab and BRAF inhibitor encorafenib. The third group was given a choice of chemo drugs.
What Was the Result?
The highest expectations of good results were from the first group with triple therapy. In comparison with the general treatment, the group with combination treatment had a higher survival rate. While the former’s rate was four months, the latter’s was nine months.
Overall, there was a twenty-six percent improvement in patients receiving triple therapy. The researchers state that these findings are very important. In the future, they may provide a better and more effective alternative to chemotherapy.