Medicine

Many breast cancer patients could avoid chemo

Many breast cancer patients could avoid chemo

The good news for around 70,000 women each year comes from the largest study done of breast cancer treatment.

Many oncologists are expected to follow the study's findings and allow women with stage I or stage II HER2-negative breast cancer to avoid the toxicity and side effects of chemotherapy.

The results from the phase 3 TAILORx study were presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, and are published in The New England Journal of Medicine. However, this left the majority of women with the condition (those who fall into the 11 - 25 range) and their doctors without clear treatment guidance. "Devastating side effects such as hair loss, severe pain and infertility can be traumatic and life-changing, yet many endure it to try and avoid the cancer coming back".

Women with a score above 25 generally are given chemotherapy.

However, the latest findings will "go a long way to support oncologists and patients in decisions about the best course of treatment", noted Jeffrey Abrams, associate director of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Programme, in the statement.

"Breast cancer is the most diagnosed cancer of women in Arkansas, one in eight".

After nine years, the cancer-free rates were 83.3 percent for the hormone-therapy-only group and 84.3 percent for the hormone-therapy-plus-chemotherapy group.

The new study was funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Komen Foundation, and the U.S. Postal Service Breast Cancer Stamp.

Seventeen percent of women with high risk scores were advised to have chemo and 16 percent with low risk now know they can skip the treatment.

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Breast cancer is the leading cancer in women, impacting one in eight. This showed that the chemotherapy had no influence in the outcome of the cancer.

"We're looking forward to a future where cancer is treated using a personalized approach", he added.

"Every day, women with certain types of breast cancer face the awful dilemma of whether or not to have the treatment, without hard facts about the benefit for them". Chemo typically costs £4,500 per patient so it is set to save the NHS millions.

This resulted in a "highly personalised" anti-cancer therapy that yielded "complete tumour regression", the researchers wrote.

Because of her work as a nurse, she was familiar with chemotherapy's sometimes harsh effects. You have got a great prognosis and chemotherapy won't help.

Perkins underwent several rounds of chemotherapy but the cancer kept spreading and doctors gave her just months to live. These come from small, early stage studies through to large randomised clinical trials. Researchers point out that while the treatment could in principle work for many different kinds of cancer, it will not help everyone. "Patients should not make any changes to their treatment based off this study, and should always consult their doctors".

"Oncologists have been getting much smarter about dialing back treatment so that it doesn't do more harm than good", said Steven Katz, a University of MI researcher who examines medical decision-making.

Those with a recurrence score of up to 10 out of 100 have been shown not to benefit from chemo and those with a score of 26 or higher do benefit. Cancer growth can be disrupted by lowering the levels of these hormones in the body or by blocking the receptors.


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