Many breast-cancer patients don't need chemotherapy, study confirms


It enrolled 10,273 U.S. women with HR+HER2-AN- breast cancer, which accounts for 23,000 of the 55,000 diagnoses in the United Kingdom each year.

"The study is going to provide women a piece of information to help them make a very hard decision", said the survivor now celebrating 10-years being cancer-free.

"The impact is tremendous", study leader, Dr. Joseph Sparano of Montefiore Medical Center in NY, told the Associated Press. The test looks at 21 genes and then spits out a score, from zero to 100, that predicts the risk that the breast cancer will return after surgery.

"Until now, we've been able to recommend treatment for women with these cancers at high and low risk of recurrence, but women at intermediate risk have been uncertain about the appropriate strategy to take", study co-author Jeffrey Abrams, associate director of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, which supported the trial, said in the statement.

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. "Our uncertainty is over", she says.

Physicians are hailing the study as a major breakthrough that will help women avoid the devastating side-effects of chemo which include hair loss, infertility, pain, and possibly death.

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"This is another significant step towards personalised breast cancer treatment and we hope these practice-changing findings will help refine our use of chemotherapy on the NHS". "The case with other TIL therapies in the past is that they've not been able to expand enough T cells in many patients, there aren't enough to start with". Doctors know that most don't need it, but evidence is thin on who can forgo it.

Ahmed Elkhanany, MD, a Roswell Park clinical fellow, is lead author and Kazuaki Takabe, MD, PhD, FACS, Alfiero Foundation Endowed Chair in Breast Oncology, is senior author of the study, "Racial disparity in breast cancer immune microenvironment" (abstract 1081), to be presented in a poster session on Saturday, June 2, from 8 11:30 a.m. CDT in McCormick Place, Poster Hall A.

They also have a score between 11 and 25 on the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test, a test that measures cancer recurrence.

The new treatment finds T-cells that are successfully killing the patient's tumours and manufactures billions of clones in the laboratory.

For women 50 or younger, chemotherapy is unwarranted for those with an Oncotype score under 16 - about 40 percent of breast cancers in this age group, the researchers said.

A patient's tumour is genetically analysed to identify the rare changes that might make the cancer visible to the immune system.

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

"I will explain that's why research is so important in helping us move forward in breast cancer care that's how we will achieve a cure for breast cancer", Figueredo said.

"At lot of works needs to be done, but the potential exists for a paradigm shift in cancer therapy - a unique drug for every cancer patient - it is very different to any other kind of treatment". This characterizes about half of all new breast cancer patients.

Breast cancer is also the most common cancer in the UK.

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

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