A drug which targets a key gene fault could halt an aggressive womb cancer and shrink tumours, according to research published in the British Journal of Cancer. The scientists, from the Division of Gynaecologic Oncology at Yale School of Medicine funded by the National Institutes of Health, showed that the drug afatinib not only killed off uterine serous cancer cells after stopping their growth but also caused tumours to shrink.

The drug, a type of personalised medicine, attacks faults in the HER2 gene which lie at the heart of the cancer cells. This stops the disease in its tracks. Drugs which target HER2 are already used to treat breast cancer. Uterine serous carcinoma is a fast-growing type of womb cancer. It is more likely than other womb cancers to come back after treatment, returning in one in two patients even if it is caught early.

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