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Most Women with Early Breast Cancer Do Not Benefit From Chemotherapy

08 June 2018

Many women with early-stage breast cancer can safely avoid chemotherapy as part of their treatment, according to a major study.

The research is the largest ever performed breast cancer therapy, and The outcomes are predicted to save around 70,000 patients per year from the U.S. and a lot more elsewhere the ordeal and cost of those medications.

The researchers said ongoing clinical trials are obtaining additional information on the clinical usefulness of the 21-gene assay in women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and positive axillary nodes, and evaluating the clinical usefulness of the 50-gene assay in this context.

The trial was supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and designed and led by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group.

When the diagnosis is cancer, the prescription can be another scary word: chemotherapy.

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Oncology experts last night called for all cancer patients to be provided "next generation sequencing" in order to identify the drug which works best personally for them.

10,273 women were involved in trials of a genetic breast cancer test, performed on a tumour sample removed during surgery, which analyses the activity levels of 21 genes, which are markers of how aggressive the cancer is.

In the USA, those who score low on the test - 0-10 - are already told to skip chemotherapy after their tumours are removed and they receive hormone therapy.

A new study published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine may drastically change how medical professionals approach treating women diagnosed with breast cancer. All had surgery and hormone treatment, and half got chemo. At nine years, the two treatment groups had similar rates of invasive disease-free survival (83.3% in the endocrine therapy group and 84.3% in the chemoendocrine therapy group). In addition, women 50 and younger who scored between zero and 15 could be spared chemotherapy.

Can people trust the outcomes?

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"I think it's been well spent", Singer said of the stamp proceeds.

The study, led by the Albert Einstein Cancer Center in NY, is a rare cancer breakthrough as it can save money and instantly change practice.

But explained:"Risk to a single individual isn't the exact same thing as threat to another".

"It does tend to cause significant side effects such as fatigue and hair loss issues that really do trouble women", said Moore. Other folks need chemo for the tiniest possibility of advantage.

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Most Women with Early Breast Cancer Do Not Benefit From Chemotherapy