'Remarkable' therapy beats terminal breast cancer

Adine Usher 78 meets with breast cancer study leader Dr. Joseph Sparano at the Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx borough of New York. Usher was one of about 10,000 participants in the study which shows women at low or inter

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.

"It feels miraculous, and I am beyond amazed that I have now been free of cancer for two years", Perkins told The Guardian.

A groundbreaking study has concluded that most women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer can avoid going through chemotherapy thanks to a new genetic treatment. Researchers point out that while the treatment could in principle work for many different kinds of cancer, it will not help everyone. The test looks at 21 genes and then spits out a score, from zero to 100, that predicts the risk that the breast cancer will return after surgery.

The study found that women over 50 scoring up to 25 did not need chemo, nor did women under 50 with a score up to 15.

Researchers have unveiled a study suggesting that 70 percent of women with HER2-negative breast cancer that hasn't spread to the lymph nodes get no extra benefits from undergoing chemotherapy. Erring on the side of caution, doctors usually give these women chemotherapy.

So the biggest unanswered questions involved women in the intermediate-risk category: Did chemo reduce their chance of recurrence? So they don't have to receive chemotherapy.

"Irish women contributed significantly to this trial and can be rightly proud of their input into improving care for future women who present with breast cancer".

After nine years, the cancer-free rates were 83.3 percent for the hormone-therapy-only group and 84.3 percent for the hormone-therapy-plus-chemotherapy group. 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.

Baroness Delyth Morgna, chief executive of Breast Cancer Now, said: "We hope these practice-changing findings will now help refine our use of chemotherapy on the NHS".

The study followed women with intermediate score between 11 to 25 who opted for endocrine (hormone) therapy and others who were treated with endocrine therapy as well as chemotherapy. These women should discuss chemotherapy with their doctors, the researchers said.

"One of the challenges that we've had in breast cancer is we thought once size fit all, and everyone was getting too much treatment", Olopade said.

The immunotherapy field has seen major breakthroughs in the past year, including the approval of two so-called CAR-T treatments from Gilead and Novartis AG that extract T-cells from a patient's blood and re-engineer them to recognize malignancies.

An experimental therapy that extracts and multiplies powerful immune-system cells from inside tumors eradicated a patient's breast cancer, a scientific first that could lead to new ways of treating malignancies that have resisted all other efforts.

She told the BBC: "About a week after [the therapy] I started to feel something, I had a tumour in my chest that I could feel shrinking".

Commenting on the results, Professor Bryan Hennessy, clinical lead, Cancer Trials Ireland, said: "This is a globally important breast cancer trial".

This characterizes about half of all new breast cancer patients.

It's one of a few branded tests that have been developed for this goal and is recommended for use in the United Kingdom by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE).

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