Landmark Study Finds More Breast Cancer Patients Can Safely Forgo Chemotherapy

Professor Alan Melcher, an immunotherapy expert at The Institute of Cancer Research, said this "exciting" study showed "a remarkable success in terms of translating our basic biological understanding of how the immune system responds to cancer into a real treatment of real benefit for this particular woman".

Sparano noted that given the several variations of endocrine therapy now available, women who have trouble tolerating one should try another.

Jennifer Litton, an associate professor and oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, told USA Today that the results will help patients and their doctors make more informed decisions.

"It is a big deal for patients because we often get in patients who prefer not to have chemotherapy so as profilers, we have more confidence and more information at hand to say while you risk is similar with and without chemotherapy thus we can't omit chemotherapy", said Lawrence. "We are de-escalating toxic therapy".

After 42 weeks from the start of treatment she was declared cancer-free.

"I think everyone will now feel more comfortable with their decisions", Dr. Otis Brawley, MACP, FASCO, FACE, chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society, told Healthline.

"These are responses that are unlike anything we have seen in the past for non-small-cell lung cancer", said lead author Gilberto Lopes, a medical oncologist at the University of Miami Health Center.

An early form of adoptive immunotherapy, called CAR-T therapy, exhibited severe side effects across many of its clinical trials, including some deaths.

A group of 10,273 women with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers were tested for 21 genes known to influence cancer return rates. Following this "recalibration" of the genetic test, the researchers estimated that chemotherapy was not justified in 70% of cases of breast cancer.

Well, we do this test of 21 genes. The women in the "unfavourable" range had to receive chemotherapy. Of those women, 6,711 had test scores between 11 and 25, which placed them in the intermediate risk group.

"This is something cancer doctors have struggled with", he said.


It follows trials of a genetic test that analyses the danger of a tumour. Or was it sufficient for them to be treated only with endocrine therapy, which blocks the cancer-spurring properties of hormones?

Women aged 50 or younger were the notable exception.

Exploratory analyses did suggest that the addition of chemotherapy was associated with some benefit for women 50 years of age or younger who had a recurrence score of 16 to 25, but not for those whose score 15 or lower.

Gilead shares gained as much as 3.7 percent on Monday, and were up 1.9 percent to $69.60 at 11:16 a.m.in NY.

If doctors adopt the study's findings, a lot of women could be affected. In certain cancer types such as prostate or breast, hormones could cause the growth of tumors. In both groups 89% of women had survived the disease.

About 41,000 women and 465 men died from the disease that year.

According to a research article "Epidemiology of breast cancer in Indian women" by Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology, in India, breast cancer has been ranked number one cancer among Indian females.

"Chemotherapy is an absolute cornerstone of breast cancer treatment, but with the side-effects being nearly unbearable for some we must ensure it is only given to those that will benefit from it".

Among the immediate effects are nausea, hair loss, and reduced blood counts.

Gilead's Kite unit signed a development agreement for the experimental therapy, Rosenberg said.

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