Tuesday, 21 August, 2018

Chemo not needed for early stage breast cancer, study says

Adine Usher 78 meets with breast cancer study leader Dr. Joseph Sparano at the Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx borough of New York. Usher was one of about 10,000 participants in the study which shows women at low or inter For some breast cancer patients, the chemo decision may now be easier
Johnnie Parks | 06 June, 2018, 05:41

Judy Perkins is free of advanced drug-resistant breast cancer two-and-a-half years after cells were used to target her deadly tumours.

The study was centered on a 21-gene test performed on tumors that has been available for breast cancer patients since the early 2000s.

Bottom line: Figueredo said the study found approximately 70 percent of women with that type of cancer do not need chemo therapy. The money was used to pay for the gene test, which costs more than $4,000 per person. Her hair fell out, she developed an infection and was hospitalized for a low white blood cell count, "but it was over fairly quickly and I'm really glad I had it". Previous studies had made clear that women with low scores could skip chemotherapy and those with high scores should get it.

"I'd make sure women are educated about the new results especially when they talk to their Oncologist about what additional treatment beyond surgery is needed" said Abraham.

Previous studies demonstrated that patients with scores of 10 or less did not need chemotherapy, while women with scores above 25 did benefit from it.The new study examined the majority of women who fall in the intermediate range of 11 to 25.

"Part of the excitement is because all cancers contain mutations, it's a technique that could potentially be applied to any tumor type", Rosenberg said. But many women also are urged to have chemo to help kill any stray cancer cells. The presence of hormone receptors in these tumours means that they respond to hormone therapy. "But we need to be precise on when to use it and who to recommend it to". He's treated patients with liver cancer, bile duct cancer, melanoma and other cancers.

However, the results of the TAILORx trial show that only 30pc of women with this particular form of early-stage breast cancer benefit from the treatment.

"If confirmed in a larger study, it promises to further extend the reach of this T-cell therapy to a broader spectrum of cancers", he said. "In many cases, we will be able to tailor treatments to the patient and their tumor".

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Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society, called the trial a good example of "precision medicine" and said it would save many women from unneeded chemotherapy.

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the United States, behind only skin cancer.

Olufunmilayo Olopade, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic at University of Chicago, said the study helps move forward the push for precision medicine - a philosophy of treating patients with the right medicine for their exact problems at a defined time. "That's important because chemo is toxic, it whacks patients out and can result in long-term job loss".

"At lot of works needs to be done, but the potential exists for a paradigm shift in cancer therapy - a unique drug for every cancer patient - it is very different to any other kind of treatment".

Albain is excited to share the study results with her clients in her practice.

Breast cancer appears due to an uncontrolled growth on the breasts.

Harold Burstein, a breast cancer specialist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said that in some ways the debate over de-escalation misses a larger issue.

After enrolling for new trial in 2015, doctors in the USA adopted an experimental approach combining two different forms of immunotherapy after conventional hormone treatments and chemotherapy failed.

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