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Woman's immune cells used to 'eliminate' advanced breast cancer
05 June 2018, 07:43 | Rodolfo Wallace
The results were presented at the annual cancer conference (ASCO) held in Chicago.
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 type of hormone therapy administered was dependent upon whether women were premenopausal or postmenopausal-91% of postmenopausal women received an aromatase inhibitor-based regimen, whereas premenopausal women were most commonly prescribed either an endocrine therapy regimen comprising either tamoxifen alone or tamoxifen followed by an aromatase inhibitor (78%).
Women affected by these new findings have the following traits: They are estrogen sensitive, test negative for her-2, and have early stage tumors that have not spread to lymph nodes.
A new study finds many women with early-stage cancer may be able to skip chemotherapy.
Thousands of women have been tested over the years using Oncotype DX to help determine the true effectiveness of chemo.
The study enrolled 10,273 women, of whom 9719 with follow-up data were included in the main analysis set; 6711 women (69%) had an intermediate recurrence score of 11-25, while 1619 (17%) had a low recurrence sore of 10 or less and 1389 (14%) had a recurrence score of 26 or higher.
The findings will lead to a "fundamental change" in the way the disease is treated, a leading oncologist said, with an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 United Kingdom women likely to avoid chemotherapy every year as a result.
Countless breast cancer patients in the future will be spared millions of dollars of chemotherapy thanks in part to something that millions of Americans did that cost them just pennies: bought a postage stamp.
Researchers studied their outcomes, including whether or not cancer recurred, and their overall survival. Many women think "if I don't get chemotherapy I'm going to die, and if I get chemo I'm going to be cured", but the results show there's a sliding scale of benefit and sometimes none, he said.
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According to researchers from the USA, early breast cancers can be successfully treated with a new form of immune therapy instead of traditional chemotherapy.
In cancers such as those of the breast, colon and prostate, scientists have long detected that "there is some immune reaction", Mackall said.
This is where the study comes in.
The study was centred on a 21-gene test performed on tumours that has been available for breast cancer patients since the early 2000s.
It found that Merck pharmaceutical's drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) - which famously helped former USA president Jimmy Carter stave off advanced melanoma that had spread to his brain - helped lung cancer patients live four to eight months longer than chemo.
Previous trials involving cancer immunotherapy have found that it "tends to work spectacularly for some patients, but the majority do not benefit", the BBCreports.
For roughly one-third of patients with metastatic melanoma or advanced lung cancer, these drugs can drive cancer into remission.
Researchers say the study could affect about 60,000 women a year in the U.S.
"If confirmed in a larger study, it promises to further extend the reach of this T-cell therapy to a broader spectrum of cancers", said Tom Misteli, director of CCR at NCI.
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