Gene Test May Allow Many With Early Breast Cancer to Avoid Chemo
07 June, 2018, 06:10 | Author: Tina Rodriquez
"The impact is tremendous", said the study's leader, Dr. Joseph Sparano of Montefiore Medical Center in NY.
The study looked at over 10,000 women with one specific type of breast cancer known as hormone-receptor-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative, lymph node-negative breast cancer.
"It means that maybe 100,000 women in the United States alone do not require chemotherapy", Norton said.
"We are de-escalating toxic therapy".
The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute, the American College of Surgeons, Cancer and Leukemia Group B, NSABP Foundation, NCIC Clinical Trials Group, North Central Cancer Treatment Group, and Southwest Oncology Group. "It was all gone", she said.
Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society said that he was "delighted" by the study and anxious about unnecessary cancer treatment and the side effects that come from chemotherapy.
"Chemotherapy is no Shangri-La", Brawley said. Protectively, many of those women have received chemotherapy, which can have devastating side effects, including anemia, a weakened immune system, hair loss, diarrhea, fatigue and memory loss.
Thousands of women could skip painful and detrimental chemotherapy in treating early-stage breast cancer, according to a groundbreaking study.
More specifically, in women over 50 years (whose risk of recurrence is lower), chemotherapy is useless for a score between 0 and 25. "I want to live - period.' I can't say how I would have responded to this study, but when it's your life, you'd rather deal with the disgusting effects of chemo for a relatively short amount of time than die".
Across the European Union, we have seen positive results for breast cancer care as more women are being diagnosed and treated earlier, leading to higher survival rates.
Patients, aged 18 to 75, were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy followed by hormonal therapy or hormone therapy alone. The most common chemotherapeutic regimens used to treat women in the dual, chemoendocrine therapy group were either a docetaxel-cyclophosphamide regimen or anthracycline-containing regimens.
There was some benefit from the chemotherapy for a small subgroup - women with a score of 16 to 25 who were age 50 or younger, Sparano's team said.
Jennifer Mall, 47, of Downers Grove, Ill., was a patient of Albain's who agreed to participate in the study. In less than three weeks, the cancer was completely eradicated from her body. But although Mall returned to health soon after her surgery and remains cancer-free today, she said she was haunted by the uncertainty of her decision. "Experts may call it extended remission but I call it a cure".
Charity Breast Cancer Care said it was a "life-changing breakthrough".
Perkins said that she could feel the tumors shrinking within the first week of the white blood cells having been pumped into her body.
Albain said research is ongoing, as scientists are now exploring questions about what types of chemotherapy might be effective on various groups based on their genomics, and what will happen to the participants of the clinical trial as even more time passes.
"A lot of work needs to be done, but the potential exists for a paradigm shift in cancer therapy - a unique drug for every cancer patient", he said.
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