New Study Suggests Chemotherapy not Needed to Treat Breast Cancer

Phyllis Laccetti a participant in the TailorX breast cancer study at her home in Ossining NY

Phyllis Laccetti a participant in the TailorX breast cancer study at her home in Ossining NY

For many patients, it's a hard choice to decide whether to go through chemotherapy.

Figueredo explained the 9 year-long study like this: Researchers took more than 10,000 women with the most common type of breast cancer that's node-negative estrogen sensitive cancer.

Charity Breast Cancer Care said it was a "life-changing breakthrough".

Women with early-stage breast cancer tend to have high survival rates, but their outlook worsens tremendously if the cancer returns to other parts of the body. Generally, after surgery, such patients receive endocrine therapy, such as tamoxifen, which is created to block the cancer-spurring effects of hormones.

Sunday's results came from a federally sponsored trial called TailorX, which was created to help doctors more precisely tailor treatments for early-stage breast cancer.

The research, "Fifteen-year results of the randomised EORTC trial 22922/10925 investigating internal mammary and medial supraclavicular (IM-MS) lymph node irradiation in stage I-III breast cancer", was presented at the ongoing 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, in Chicago.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) examined over 10,000 breast cancer patients and found that women who were treated with an estrogen-blocking hormone therapy had a almost identical survival rate to women treated with chemo and hormone therapy.

Using a pioneering antibody technique, medical researchers have completely eliminated advanced breast cancer from a 49-year-old woman. This test, called Oncotype Dx, gives a score between 0 and 100.

"Oncologists have been getting much smarter about dialing back treatment so that it doesn't do more harm than good", Steven Katz, a University of MI researcher who examines medical decisionmaking, told The Washington Post.

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Those with recurrence scores of 16 and above got a "substantial" benefit from chemotherapy and should consider it, said lead author Joseph Sparano, associate director for clinical research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Medical Center.

Findings of the past have indicated that women who met these criteria and scored below ten on the index test could safely skip chemotherapy without raising their rate of recurrence, however, those above 25 would nearly always be advised to use chemotherapy as a necessary treatment to lower risk of recurrence.

"To know there is something that is going to help other breast cancer patients not have to go through what I went through for that time period".

That's because they don't really benefit from it, according to a study published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. That has prompted many to turn to chemo to avoid the spread of the disease.

Proceeds from the U.S. Postal Service's breast cancer stamp helped fund this important study.

Another study at the conference found that Merck's immunotherapy drug Keytruda worked better than chemo as initial treatment for most people with the most common type of lung cancer, and with far fewer side effects. "I was planning on dying", she added, "After the treatment dissolved most of my tumours, I was able to go for a 40-mile hike".

"Because this is a huge study".

In this case study, they identified 62 mutations, and then tested samples of Perkins' tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) - a form of white blood cell primed to identify and destroy mutated cells - to find those that were particularly active against cells with one or more mutations.

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