Many Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer Can Skip Chemo

Pancreatic cancer patients could live more than twice as long if given chemotherapy and radiation treatment before surgery

Pancreatic cancer patients could live more than twice as long if given chemotherapy and radiation treatment before surgery

The study confirmed that using a 21-gene analyzation to assess cancer recurrence risk can successfully indicate whether or not a woman needs to undergo invasive and unnecessary chemotherapy treatment.

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"The new results from TAILORx give clinicians high-quality data to inform personalized treatment recommendations for women", said lead author Joseph A. Sparano, M.D., associate director for clinical research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Health System in New York City and vice chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. Women are given scores based on this test, classifying them as being either at high risk of recurrence, intermediate risk, or low risk.

Jane Murphy, clinical nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Care, said: "It's really interesting to see different avenues are being explored to help women adapt to life after breast cancer, which can be incredibly daunting and hard".

Certain girls 50 or younger did gain from chemo; marginally fewer Instances of cancer spreading far beyond the breast happened among a number of them awarded chemo, based upon their threat scores on the gene evaluation.

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Women concerned about their own risk of breast cancer recurrence should speak to their personal physician. More studies are still needed to look at those groups of women. Many women think "if I don't get chemotherapy I'm going to die, and if I get chemo I'm going to be cured", but the results show there's a sliding scale of benefit and sometimes none, he said.

"This study is an example of how treatments can be refined in an attempt to work better for patients", said ASCO expert Dr. Andrew Epstein. But, she remembers the side effects of chemotherapy like it was yesterday.

"And it's really preventing women from taking these medications that are created to prevent them getting a recurrence of their breast cancer".

The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute, some foundations and proceeds from the US breast cancer postage stamp. It was first issued in 1998 and has been reissued multiple times since, and has raised more than $86 million for breast cancer research. The net proceeds from sales of the stamp are transferred to NIH and the Medical Research Program of the Department of Defense to fund breast cancer research.

The study published on Sunday, on which early-stage breast cancer patients can forgo chemo, is by far the most impactful so far.

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