Thousands of women could skip chemo for early-stage breast cancer

Participant Adine Usher met last month with study leader Dr. Joseph Sparano at the Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York

"We can de-escalate toxic treatments and do that with certainty". Chemotherapy, which is medication that kills cancer cells, can keep the cancer from spreading but can also affect health cells and cause unwanted side effects, such as hair loss, anxiety, depression, nausea, fatigue and heart failure.

"Chemotherapy is no Shangri-La", Brawley said.

Another study at the conference found that Merck's immunotherapy drug Keytruda worked better than chemo as initial treatment for most people with the most common type of lung cancer, and with far fewer side effects. By continuing the personalized assessment of an individual's cancer recurrence risk, oncologists can more effectively determine specifically-tailored treatments based on that patient's genomic results.

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.

Past research has shown that women with scores between 0 and 10 could skip chemotherapy, while those with scores over 25 benefited from adding chemotherapy to their hormonal treatment plan.

Results from this study suggest many women with this specific type of tumour do not receive any additional benefit from having chemotherapy in combination with endocrine therapy, compared to endocrine therapy alone. Most women in this situation don't need treatment beyond surgery and hormone therapy, and "the rest of them are receiving chemotherapy unnecessarily". "Now that we know many of these women can safely avoid chemotherapy, we can spare them the physical and emotional effects that chemotherapy can have".

Well, we do this test of 21 genes. "Women with a higher recurrent score, there's some doubt about whether these results are fully implementable in the women under 50, just because it's a different hormone environment, and they haven't yet gone through menopause and it may be that the chemotherapy helps to bring about a change in their hormone environment", Prof Sanchia Aranda, CEO of Cancer Council Australia, explained in an interview with Starts at 60.

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

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Facebook is also promoting more local news stories and letting users rank the trustworthiness of various publications. Facebook didn't announce any plans to bring back Trending, or some version of it in the future.

But in recent years, oncologists have warned that women with early-stage breast cancer are possibly being overtreated.

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

"It took another week or two for it to completely go away".

The charity Breast Cancer Now said the findings were "practice-changing".

"It feels miraculous and I am beyond amazed", the 52-year-old said.

Albain said research is ongoing, as scientists are now exploring questions about what types of chemotherapy might be effective on various groups based on their genomics, and what will happen to the participants of the clinical trial as even more time passes.

The global trial, known as TAILORx, involved over 10,000 women from 1,182 research units in Ireland, the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Peru.

This is being called the largest breast cancer treatment trial ever conducted. 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.

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