Study finds women with early breast cancer may avoid chemotherapy

The study is thought to be the largest breast cancer treatment trial ever

The study is thought to be the largest breast cancer treatment trial ever

For many patients, it's a hard choice to decide whether to go through chemotherapy.

A groundbreaking new therapy, which helped eradicate cancer completely from a woman who was diagnosed with an advanced stage of breast cancer and told by doctors that she would only be able to live for four months, is exciting doctors like never before.

Countless breast cancer patients in the future will be spared millions of dollars of chemotherapy thanks in part to something that millions of Americans did that cost them just pennies: bought a postage stamp. It's called the Oncotype DX test.

That could affect up to 70,000 women a year in the United States of America and thousands more around the world, the study said.

Jennifer Mall, 47, of Downers Grove, Ill., was a patient of Albain's who agreed to participate in the study. The rates of invasive disease-free survival at 9 years were similar for both groups, at 83.3% for the endocrine-therapy group and 84.3% for the chemoendocrine therapy group.

John Heymach, a professor at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center who was not involved in the Merck-funded study, described it as a "true milestone" and "a real important advance for patients". "I had a tumour in my chest that I could feel shrinking", she said.

The test examines the activity of 21 genes of breast cancer tissue and assigns it a score between 0 and 100. But the intermediate patients with scores of 11 to 25, we have not known what's best for them.

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.




After years of waiting, doctors and patients finally got the answer.

The TAILORx study, led by the Montefiore Medical Centre in NY, found women older than 50 with this form of breast cancer and a score of up to 25 did not need chemotherapy. Twenty-five percent of those patients won't qualify for chemotherapy because of age or medical problems.

The study, published June 3 in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that most patients with an intermediate risk of cancer recurrence can skip chemotherapy treatment without affecting their chances of surviving the disease. The problem with these cells is that they're too few to help a patient on their own, so the team grew new copies of the cells in the lab, multiplying them dramatically over a period of few weeks, after which they were infused back into the patient.

"We are now at the cusp of a major revolution in finally realising the elusive goal of being able to target the plethora of mutations in cancer through immunotherapy", he said.

The study found that women over 50 scoring up to 25 did not need chemo, nor did women under 50 with a score up to 15. The trial is in its early stages - with a projected closing date for the study pencilled in for 2023, it could be a while before medics can assume the new method is safe.

"Chemotherapy has saved a tremendous amount of lives, and will continue to do so", Baselga says. Doctors know that most don't need it, but evidence is thin on who can forgo it. "The era of one-size-fits-all is basically coming to an end, which is great news".

In addition to having their tumors removed, the women in the study underwent a genetic test called Oncotype DX, manufactured by California-based Genomic Health.

"With this test, you listen to the tumor's genes", he said. Half of that group also got chemotherapy. He expects the study's results will change that practice. The clinical trial followed over 10,000 women with hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, that had developed tumors under 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter, and which hadn't yet spread to the lymph nodes. "It's a technique done in a laboratory", she said. Some women 50 or younger, however, did see benefits from chemo.

Recommended News

  • WWDC 18: Watch Apple map out the future of iOS and macOS

    WWDC 18: Watch Apple map out the future of iOS and macOS

    Secondly, iOS 12 and Safari is going to make it much, much harder for third parties to track you across the internet. Apple is expected to launch an exciting new iPhone feature to address a problem it helped create: phone addiction.
    Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti signs new five-year deal

    Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti signs new five-year deal

    Manchester United haven't been alone in pursuit of the player, with Real Madrid linked with a shock move for him as well. The France centre-back fuelled the speculation in March when he refused to comment on reports he could sign for United.
    Trump wouldn't mind replacing NAFTA with 2 deals

    Trump wouldn't mind replacing NAFTA with 2 deals

    All six of the other G-7 countries are paying the tariffs, which are largely aimed at curbing excess production in China. The import duties will give a boost to American makers of steel and aluminium by making foreign metals more expensive.
  • England must believe Russian Federation  will be different - Kane

    England must believe Russian Federation will be different - Kane

    Pope was quoted as saying by the Lancashire Telegraph : " I've really enjoyed it, it's been really good ". "It was good to get some minutes on the weekend and I'm fully refreshed".
    Steph Curry Is Running Circles Around the Cavs’ Defense

    Steph Curry Is Running Circles Around the Cavs’ Defense

    When James plays as a mere mortal, the Cavaliers are the flawed team we've seen several times throughout this postseason. Game 2 wasn't any better for Cavs' fans, as the Golden State Warriors won 122-103 to take a 2-0 lead in the series.
    United States  military killed almost  500 civilians in 2017, Pentagon says

    United States military killed almost 500 civilians in 2017, Pentagon says

    The report did not include figures from Somalia or Libya, as there were "no credible reports" of civilian casualties there. According to the coalition's statistics, 883 civilians had been killed by its strikes since its operation started in 2014.
  • Arsenal in shock move for Manchester United midfielder

    Arsenal in shock move for Manchester United midfielder

    Arsenal have reportedly turned down the opportunity to sign Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini on a free transfer . According to reports in Metro , Arsenal have suddenly emerged as surprise contenders to sign Marouane Fellaini .
    Supreme Court Sides With Baker Who Turned Away Gay Couple

    Supreme Court Sides With Baker Who Turned Away Gay Couple

    For the baker's supporters , the case was about finding a way to respect conflicting beliefs about marriage. Phillips was sanctioned by the state civil rights commission after a formal complaint from the couple.
    Apple Has Been Blocking Telegram From Updating Its App Since April

    Apple Has Been Blocking Telegram From Updating Its App Since April

    We believe we did the only possible thing, preserving the right of our users to privacy in a troubled country. Apple has one month from May 28 to remove Telegram from the App Store in Russian Federation .
  • IOS 12 introduces new features to help you curb your iPhone addiction

    IOS 12 introduces new features to help you curb your iPhone addiction

    Google announced similar changes that allow users to set time limits on apps running its Android mobile operating system. The company compiles the demographic information to create group profiles - called segments - for targeted ads.
    Melania Trump Missing But ‘Doing Great': Spokeswoman

    Melania Trump Missing But ‘Doing Great': Spokeswoman

    The first lady remained in the hospital for five nights following the procedure prior to returning to the White House on May 19. Four days later, the White House announced that she had been hospitalized to treat a kidney condition described only as benign.
    Talks held in Italy amid political crisis

    Talks held in Italy amid political crisis

    But after they signaled they were willing to compromise, the president put Cottarelli on standby and gave them another shot. The Cabinet also includes defense attorney Giulia Bongiorno as the new minister for public administration.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.