Chemo 'unnecessary' for thousands with breast cancer

Chemo 'unnecessary' for thousands with breast cancer

Chemo 'unnecessary' for thousands with breast cancer

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The majority of women with the most common type of early-stage breast cancer can safely skip chemotherapy after surgery, according to a highly anticipated new report.

Those with recurrence scores of 16 and above got a "substantial" benefit from chemotherapy and should consider it, said lead author Joseph Sparano, associate director for clinical research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Medical Center. "We all don't need cookie cutter medicine for things", said 20-year breast cancer survivor Alesa Garner.

"We have been waiting for these results for years", said Allison Kurian, an oncologist at Stanford University who wasn't involved in the trial.

"We are de-escalating toxic therapy".

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) examined over 10,000 breast cancer patients and found that women who were treated with an estrogen-blocking hormone therapy had a almost identical survival rate to women treated with chemo and hormone therapy.

"They were sick all the time", she said. This showed that the chemotherapy had no influence in the outcome of the cancer.

"Chemotherapy is no Shangri-La", Brawley said. They represent roughly half of the more than 17,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in Australia every year.

He noted that the gene test (Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score) has been in use for more than a decade, based on data that suggested it was prognostic at the high and low ends. "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".

The new study focused on 6,711 women with early stage, hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative, axillary node-negative breast cancers.

"This is another significant step towards personalised breast cancer treatment and we hope these practice-changing findings will now help refine our use of chemotherapy on the NHS", she said.

The study validates the gene test in the modern era and also clears up a "gray zone" - how to treat women with scores that were not clearly prognostic, Burstein said.

Jennifer Mall, 47, of Downers Grove, Ill., was a patient of Albain's who agreed to participate in the study.

She is the principal investigator for the Cancer Research Consortium of West Michigan, an organization that works with hospitals across the region to conduct research trials for cancer patients.

The patients then went on to receive either hormonal therapy alone or the combo of hormonal therapy plus chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy is the use of chemical substances to remove any remaining cancer cells after a surgery to remove a tumour.

But any miracle cure may be some way off, medical experts warn.

Mall said while she, like many cancer survivors, will never completely be able to erase fear of recurrence, she is thrilled that thousands of women in her situation will be spared the anguish she experienced.

"It feels miraculous and I am beyond amazed", the 52-year-old said. Since its establishment in 1996, over 15,000 people have participated in more than 350 cancer trials.

Diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2017, hospice nurse Tonda Bettner says nothing can prepare you for chemotherapy. The average duration of follow up in the intermediate recurrence score group was 90 months for invasive disease-free survival and 96 months for overall survival. "Now we're actually peeling back and not treating everyone the same way".

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