Drug resistance in breast cancer treatment is not only common but also expected. Breast cancer can develop to resist traditional treatment therapies. In this situation, the doctor will help you find out other alternative treatment to make sure your breast cancer can be treated continuously.
Drug resistance in breast cancer treatment
If you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you can be treated with some types of treatments. However, nearly all treatments have to face the problem: they do not work for many patients. This is called drug resistance. Drug resistance is one of the most challenging issues in breast cancer treatment.
When drug resistance occurs, the cancer cells resist the effects of the medicines that are used to treat cancer. These cells can continue to grow rapidly and tumors are formed in your body. Drug resistance can increase your risk for breast cancer recurrence. It takes weeks, months, or years for drug resistance to develop.
Drug resistance can occur due to drug inactivation, drug target alteration, DNA damage repair, or cell death inhibition. Your doctor will check your condition regularly to know if the treatment is working.
Drug combinations to deal with drug resistance
Researchers have found that combinations of drugs can delay drug resistance or help you overcome this situation. They use drugs that block the special function of resistance. Then they can use the drug to which cancer cells resist to treat cancer again.
They also use different drugs that have different functions to kill as many tumors as possible without developing drug resistance. Therapies are used in combinations to prevent the development of drug resistance. Using multi therapies is more effective than using only one drug.
However, more studies are needed to find out the most effective ways to fight drug resistance in breast cancer treatment.
Things you can do
- Drug resistance can happen to anyone, but your doctor will find out the way to help you. You just have to follow all the instruction during your treatment. Be patient and do not worry about your condition.
- If you feel worried about your condition, ask your doctor and he or she will explain to you.
- Check your condition regularly and do not miss any treatment or appointment.
Drug resistance is a big medical issue. If all currently treatments cannot treat breast cancer, lives of many people are affected. Researchers are working hard to find out as many effective ways to solve the issue as possible.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 7, 2017 | Last Modified: May 5, 2017
Identifying Novel Drug Combinations to Overcome Treatment Resistance. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/research/drug-combo-resistance. Accessed February 9, 2017.
Housman G, Byler S, Heerboth S, et al. Drug Resistance in Cancer: An Overview. Cancers. 2014;6(3):1769-1792. doi:10.3390/cancers6031769.
Gonzalez-Angulo AM, Morales-Vasquez F, Hortobagyi GN. Overview of resistance to systemic therapy in patients with breast cancer. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;608:1-22.