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Women with early-stage breast cancer may not benefit from chemo

Women with early-stage breast cancer may not benefit from chemo

The Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (TAILORx) looked only at HER+, node-negative disease and women with midrange scores on the genetic tests - a group that has not been researched as much as some others.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have identified significant differences in the immune microenvironment of breast cancer tumors between African-American and white women, shedding light on the ways in which race can influence cancer development and outcomes.

Breast cancer is the leading cancer in women, impacting one in eight.

"It feels miraculous and I am beyond amazed that I have now been free of cancer for two years", she told the media. "For countless women and their doctors, the days of uncertainty are over", said Dr Kathy Albain, oncologist at the Loyola University Health System, and a co-author of the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine simultaneously with its presentation at ASCO.

An experimental new therapy for advanced breast cancer is being hailed as a "paradigm shift" in treating the disease.

After five years, 92.8 percent of the women who received hormone therapy alone, and 93.1 percent of those who received hormone therapy plus chemotherapy, were cancer-free.

In the latest study, a team extracted immune cells called lymphocytes from the patient, tweaked them in the lab, then reinjected them.

A decade-long study revealed that women who take a cancer recurrence gene test and yield results of low or intermediate risk of cancer recurrence - which effects more than 85,000 women a year - can forego chemotherapy altogether, according to CNN. Oncotype DX has spurred the trend, and is likely to accelerate it. "Most women in this situation don't need treatment beyond surgery and hormone therapy", he said, and "the rest of them are receiving chemotherapy unnecessarily". They could potentially encourage patients to incorrectly avoid or stop treatment-with potentially tragic consequences.

Judy Perkins, a 49-year-old engineer from Florida, was selected to undergo the cutting edge treatment after several chemotherapy sessions had failed to kill the tumour, which had begun to spread to her liver. The money was used to pay for the gene test, which costs more than $4,000 per person.

The patients affected by these new study results are those with estrogen-sensitive breast cancers who also test negative for the HER2 gene.

The results show that all women over 50 with a recurrence score of 0 to 25 can be spared chemotherapy and its toxic side effects.

"... Because this new approach to immunotherapy is dependent on mutations, not on cancer type, it is, in a sense, a blueprint we can use for the treatment of many types of cancer", said Dr. Steven Rosenberg, the chief of the surgery branch at the National Cancer Institute's Center for Cancer Research.

It found that Merck pharmaceutical's drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) - which famously helped former United States president Jimmy Carter stave off advanced melanoma that had spread to his brain - helped lung cancer patients live 4 to 8 months longer than chemo.

"When you get diagnosed with breast cancer, you're like, 'What?' You know, 'I work out".

Looking ahead, Sparano hopes to see if this research could be applied to patients whose cancer has already spread to the lymph nodes, which is prognostic for a higher rate of recurrence.

Judy Perkins is the first woman in the world to have her breast cancer completely eradicated using a technique to turbocharge her immune system. The researchers gave half the women hormone-blocking drugs alone, and half hormone-blocking drugs and chemotherapy.

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