In a first, breast cancer patients seeking treatment at Goa Medical College, Bambolim, will now have free access to the fixed-dose Pertuzumab-Trastuzumab combination drug, which costs Rs 4.2 lakh.
Goa is the first state in the country to include this drug in the treatment protocol and to provide it free of charge to patients.
The drug was launched at Goa Medical College (GMC) on Sunday, World Cancer Day.
This injectable FDC is administered to HER2-positive breast cancer patients under the skin with intravenous chemotherapy. It offers a streamlined alternative to the conventional hour-long intravenous drip. It enhances patient comfort and ensures a more efficient delivery of the therapeutic agents.
A patient was administered the dose under the supervision of the head of its oncology department, Dr. Anupama Borkar, in the presence of Rane, dean Dr. Shivanand Bandekar, and other senior doctors.
Roche Healthcare has introduced the drug under the brand name Phesgo. The drug will be administered free to eligible patients at GMC by the state government and can treat breast cancer in its early stages.
Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that our strong commitment to pushing forward with new and advanced treatments ensures that everyone can benefit from the latest medical solutions. This marks a big change in how we fight breast cancer, bringing in a new era of hope and healing for women all across the country.
Rane told the reporters that, recognizing the evolving landscape of cancer therapeutics, the medical community at GMC has now incorporated pertuzumab, a second antibody, into the treatment regimen.
After pertuzumab-trastuzumab was launched at GMC, the same was trending on X, formally Twitter, with nearly 10,000 posts with #Goa4BestCancerCare.
The state has selected one lakh women over the past years for breast cancer using the non-invasive and radiation-free iBreast exam, of which 52 were detected with cancer. The state has set a target to scan 1.5 lakh more women over the next one and a half years.
(Input from various sources)