Medicine

Many Women With Common Breast Cancer Can Safely Skip Chemo, Study Says

Many Women With Common Breast Cancer Can Safely Skip Chemo, Study Says

In the US, the most recent data shows around 135,000 new cases yearly of the specific breast cancer studied, says Dr. Joseph Sparano, an oncologist at Montefiore Medical Center, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the lead author of the study.

"The new results show that most women over 50, and who score within a given range, will not get any benefit from chemotherapy over and above hormonal therapy", Dr. Dana Abraham said, with Abraham Breast Clinic in Little Rock.

This trial using this type of genetic test lets us say to those women, "you will do fine without chemotherapy and spare all of the stuff that comes along with that'".

The researchers performed a prospective trial between 2006 and 2010 involving 10,273 women with hormone-receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative, axillary node-negative breast cancer. Usher was one of about 10,000 participants in the study which shows women at low or intermediate risk for breast cancer recurrence may safely skip chemotherapy without hurting their chances of survival.

Other experts agreed that while these initial results would need to be confirmed in larger clinical trials, they hold promise for a variety of particularly stubborn forms of cancer.

Oncotype DX is not available in India but samples are sent overseas for the test.

"But because this new approach to immunotherapy is dependent on mutations, not on cancer type, it is in a sense a blueprint we can use for the treatment of many types of cancer".

The patients in this group were randomly assigned to chemotherapy with supplemental hormone therapy or just hormone therapy alone.

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Scientists found that giving hormone therapy alone was as good as the combination of chemotherapy and hormone therapy in women with the intermediate score. Women younger than 50 still saw some benefit from chemotherapy, especially with scores between 21-25.

While the new study fills in a crucial gap of medical knowledge, what remains confusing is what took so long to get the point where we can measure twice and cut once, so to speak.

Then, five and nine years later, the researchers checked in on how the women were doing. And while this finding certainly doesn't eliminate chemotherapy as a viable tool, it very likely means that a huge number of patients will have the opportunity to receive more personally-tailored treatments in the future.

That's why it's great news to hear that doctors in the USA have just made an incredible scientific breakthrough through, curing a woman who was in the advanced stages of the disease.

For many patients, it's a hard choice to decide whether to go through chemotherapy. The rates of invasive disease-free survival at 9 years were similar for both groups, at 83.3% for the endocrine-therapy group and 84.3% for the chemoendocrine therapy group. Based on their versions of these genes, the women were given scores assessing their recurrence risk from 0 to 100. Following this "recalibration" of the genetic test, the researchers estimated that chemotherapy was not justified in 70% of cases of breast cancer. Your odds of being cured are terrific, and you don't need chemotherapy because you don't need it.

This year, about 260,000 new cases of breast cancer are expected in women in the United States, and 41,000 deaths. The test, which has been on the market for several years, analyzes the activity of 21 genes to predict a woman's risk of recurrence over 10 years.

Women can have the tendency to turn towards chemo, even if the results have a relatively small benefit, Albain says.


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