Scientists have developed a new cancer treatment that can safely deliver extremely high chemotherapy doses with minimal side effects.

Excited scientists say the new-generation drug, to be announced at a leading cancer conference this week, could be used effectively against many types of tumour, reports the Daily Express. The treatment, which has proved successful in trials on breast cancer patients, combines traditional chemotherapy with another new-generation drug that directly targets cancer cells. Scientists have likened the treatment, code named T-DM1, to a Trojan horse because a killer drug is protected by another chemical and only activated once it hits enemy cancer cells. This means only malignant cells are destroyed so patients have far fewer side effects associated with chemotherapy, including hair loss, weakened immune system and nausea.

The technology has been developed by US based Immunogen in combination with drug giant Roche.

“We are encouraged by the results,” said Edith Perez of Mayo Clinic.

“The study demonstrated that T-DM1 has very good anti-tumour activity as well as much lower toxicity,” she added.

The new findings would be presented at the European Society of Medical Oncology conference in Milan.

Keywords: chemotherapycancer