Breakthrough breast cancer study means fewer women needing chemotherapy


Rachel Rawson, clinical nurse specialist at Breast Cancer Care, said: "This life-changing breakthrough is absolutely wonderful news as it could liberate thousands of women from the agony of chemotherapy".

All of the women in the study, called the Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (Rx), or TAILORx, had their breast tumors analyzed with a molecular test.

"At lot of works needs to be done, but the potential exists for a paradigm shift in cancer therapy - a unique drug for every cancer patient - it is very different to any other kind of treatment". The 49-year-old patient with advanced breast cancer was given three months to live before enrolling into the trial.

However, he noted the treatment would probably not work for everyone, and that further successful trials will be necessary before it can be rolled out widely. "After the treatment dissolved most of my tumours, I was able to go for a 40-mile (65km) hike".

Researchers underlined that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States and worldwide.

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

The results are a part of the largest breast cancer treatment trial ever conducted, according to the Washington Post.

The study is strictly about early stage breast cancers - specifically those that can still be treated with hormone therapy, have not spread to the lymph nodes and do not have the HER2 mutation, which makes them grow more quickly.

Dr. Steven Rosenberg and his team sequenced the DNA of one of her tumors to find which mutations were unique to her cancer. They focused on mutations that disrupted four genes which produced an array of abnormal proteins in the tumours. That's until she was selected for a radical new therapy. Researchers first plucked a rare type of T-cells, custom-made by the immune system from inside the tumors.

The soldiers or the white blood cells are now extracted and the ones that can specifically fight the cancer are identified and isolated.

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"They are attacking their own cancers", Rosenberg said in an interview. Over few weeks her scan showed reducing and shrinking tumours until they were gone and she was told she could be completely cured of her cancer.

"It feels miraculous, and I am beyond amazed that I have now been free of cancer for two years", Ms Perkins said. "I had a bucket list of things to do before the end, like going to the Grand Canyon". "Now, I have gone back to normal everyday life".

Researchers found that more on 83 percent of the women using hormone therapy alone had not developed a recurrence or additional primary cancer.

Breast cancer appears due to an uncontrolled growth on the breasts.

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer for the American Cancer Society said that he was "delighted" by the study and anxious about unnecessary cancer treatment and the side effects that come from chemotherapy. "It would certainly be applicable in principle to a range of tumours, and even those in which immunotherapy hasn't worked so well yet".

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.

The company now provides tests to more than 900,000 patients in more than 90 countries, Shak said.

According to a new U.S. study, after the tumor has been removed from the breast, chemotherapy would only be needed in 20% of cases for patients suffering of breast cancer.

This trial using this type of genetic test lets us say to those women, "you will do fine without chemotherapy and spare all of the stuff that comes along with that'". "I've been anxious for a long time about unnecessary treatment for cancer, and unnecessary side effects from chemotherapy".

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