Genetic test could mean many women with breast cancer forgo chemotherapy

Genetic test could mean many women with breast cancer forgo chemotherapy

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting-aka the world's largest cancer conference-began last Friday in Chicago. Women who get their mammograms on time have a much better chance of being diagnosed in the earlier stages and therefore a less likelihood of needing chemo.

A new study finds many women with early stage cancer may be able to skip chemotherapy. Findings from the study will be published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

"The results of PREOPANC trial certainly strengthens the argument for it", said Chang.

A low test score means patients can forgo the treatment, as well as its toxic side effects, while a high score means women would greatly benefit. The trial used a molecular test (Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score) that assesses the expression of 21 genes associated with breast cancer recurrence to assign women with early-stage, HR-positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node-negative breast cancer to the most appropriate and effective post-operative treatment.

Women concerned about their own risk of breast cancer recurrence should speak to their personal physician.

The study gave 10,273 patients a test called Oncotype DX, which uses a biopsy sample to measure the activity of genes involved in cell growth and response to hormone therapy, to estimate the risk that a cancer will recur.


Certain girls 50 or younger did gain from chemo; marginally fewer Instances of cancer spreading far beyond the breast happened among a number of them awarded chemo, based upon their threat scores on the gene evaluation. The TAILORx study concentrated on people in the intermediate category and determined that chemotherapy for those patients, over 50, is no longer needed either.

The researchers found that the primary endpoint of the trial, invasive disease-free survival - the proportion of women who had not died or developed a recurrence or a second primary cancer - was very similar in both groups.

Cancer treatment has been growing from chemotherapy - elderly drugs When chemo is utilized today, it is occasionally for shorter intervals or lower doses than it was. None of these differences were considered statistically significant.

The new research now indicates that these women in this range would most likely not benefit from the costly and often physically devastating chemotherapy protocol.

After undergoing surgery and radiation, the women randomly received either chemotherapy plus endocrine therapy or endocrine therapy alone. This finding indicates the need to develop more effective therapies for women at high risk of recurrence.

The new effects are around the 67 percent of women at intermediate risk.

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