Cancer Research: After 25 Years, A Big Payoff

Monoclonal antibodies are generating new excitement

Doctors are usually careful not to oversell experimental cancer treatments, but investigators studying a new breast cancer drug are having trouble containing their excitement. On May 17, researchers reported that Genentech Inc.'s Herceptin dramatically slowed breast cancer and added months--in some cases, years--to the lives of patients suffering from the most aggressive form. "This is the biggest difference I've ever seen" in a study of advanced cancer patients, says Dr. Larry Norton, an oncologist at New York's Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

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