New research has shown that a lung cancer drug could be successful in treating women suffering from ectopic pregnancies, helping them to avoid the emergency surgery associated with the condition.
It is believed that providing an alternative effective treatment will reduce the need for surgery, safeguarding women from the surgical errors that can damage their future health and fertility.
Investigated in a joint study, conducted by researchers in Edinburgh and Melbourne, results have allegedly shown that combining a drug called ‘gefitinib’ with the existing treatment, methotrexate, produces a more effective cure for the condition.
Rather than developing normally within the womb, a pregnancy is described as ectopic when a fertilised egg implants elsewhere; more often than not within the fallopian tubes. The consequences being, that the egg will not develop into a baby as normal, with potentially devastating physical and psychological effects to the mother.
Occurring in around one in sixty pregnancies, suspected ectopic pregnancies are a serious cause for concern, requiring immediate medical attention. Around 12,000 women in the UK suffer from an ectopic pregnancy each year, with the condition responsible for around 80% of pregnancy-related deaths.
Reducing emergency surgical errors
According to NHS Choice, if identified early, an ectopic pregnancy can be treated with drugs, avoiding the need for the fallopian tube to be surgically removed.
'Gefitinib' is conventionally used to treat lung cancer, blocking a protein known to encourage cell growth. This protein has been discovered in women who are suffering from an Ectopic Pregnancy; consequently, when combined with Methotrexate, scientists found that the drug combination shortened the time it took to successfully treat ectopic pregnancies.
Considering the consequences of their discovery, Asons Executive, Suzanne Yates: "At Asons Solicitors, we understand the consequences of surgical errors in relation to Ectopic Pregnancies. It’s frustrating that in most cases, had the condition been diagnosed and treated promptly, such issues wouldn’t have arisen. We often see instances of GP Negligence, where opportunities for diagnosis have been missed, causing treatments to be delayed.
"Scientists have suggested that this new treatment will be more effective in curing the condition, helping to avoid the need for surgery. Even when performed correctly by experienced surgeons, surgery still exposes the patient to a myriad of risks. Wherever possible it can only be beneficial to avoid emergency surgery, avoiding the chance for a surgical error to take place.
"My hope is that GPs become more adept in diagnosing ectopic pregnancies, allowing this new treatment to be of benefit.”
If you have been affected by an ectopic pregnancy misdiagnosis you should speak to an experienced medical negligence claims solicitor. They can provide expert advice whilst building a compelling ectopic pregnancy compensation case, to achieve the damages you deserve for your sub-standard care.