Fewer Women with Breast Cancer Will Be Getting Chemotherapy

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

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

"... 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", said Dr. Steven Rosenberg, the chief of the surgery branch at the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research.

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. (That mouthful refers to three things: that the cancer was found early, that it could bind to certain hormones and that it didn't have the HER2 receptor.) This type of breast cancer is the most common type, according to the researchers. It's called the Oncotype DX test.

The TAILORx trial used the Oncotype DX test, now available on the NHS, which allows doctors to predict the likelihood of the breast cancer coming back.

The researchers reported that for women younger than 50, results were similar to those of patients who had scores of 15 or lower.

A trial of more than 10,000 women with the most common form of early breast cancer found the treatment was unnecessary for many after surgery.

The results are expected to spare as many as 70,000 women from the expensive procedure that comes with harsh side effects.

The patients then went on to receive either hormonal therapy alone or the combo of hormonal therapy plus chemotherapy.

The nine-year-survival-rate was 93.9 percent without chemotherapy and 93.8 percent with chemotherapy.

Although white women have the highest incidence of breast cancer in the United States, African-American women are more likely than women of any other ethnic group to die of the disease.

This researchers split the middle-scoring group into two randomized subgroups: one treated exclusively with estrogen-blocking hormone therapy, and one with chemo combined with hormone therapy. "I spoke to four people about her case, including one of the doctors associated with the Tailorx trial", said Dr Ramesh Sarin, senior consultant surgical oncology at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.

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"The more in the bad risk category we'd say the chances of the cancer coming back are high so we'd give aggressive chemotherapy but still it wasn't an accurate science", explained Dr. Imran.

A WOMAN appears to have been cured of advanced drug-resistant breast cancer after doctors harnessed her own immune system to fight the disease.

"The impact is tremendous", said the study leader, Dr. Joseph Sparano of Montefiore Medical Center in NY.

"Breast cancer treatments have advanced so much that treatments can nearly be tailored for patients and this is extremely welcome news as chemotherapy is a particularly invasive treatment".

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.

To find out if the cancer could grow or spread, a sample of the tumour is tested after surgery for 21 genetic markers.

Treatment is a personal decision and that's why it's important for patients to discuss their options with their doctor, Figueredo said.

He pointed out that by having this trial in Ireland, this has allowed more personalised treatment recommendations for women with this type and stage of breast cancer.

"We went rafting down the Grand Canyon", said Perkins, who has two sons and two stepsons with her husband. "I had a tumour in my chest I could feel shrinking", she said.

The technology is a "living drug" made from a patient's own cells at one of the world's leading centres of cancer research.

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