The TAILORx study, led by the Montefiore Medical Centre in NY, found women older than 50 with this form of breast cancer and a score of up to 25 did not need 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.
“… Because this new approach to immunotherapy is dependent on mutations, not on cancer type, it is, in a sense, a blueprint we can use for the treatment of many types of cancer”, said Dr. Steven Rosenberg, the chief of the surgery branch at the National Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Research.
That’s why it’s great news to hear that doctors in the USA have just made an awesome scientific breakthrough through, curing a woman who was in the advanced stages of the disease.
The TAILORx trial used the Oncotype DX test which allows doctors to predict the likelihood of the breast cancer returning. Treatment options include estrogen-blocking drugs along with doses of chemotherapy to lower the risk of recurrence. However, this left the majority of women with the condition (those who fall into the 11 – 25 range) and their doctors without clear treatment guidance.
Among women with mid-range scores, the researchers concluded that overall there was no significant difference in the outcomes of those who had chemotherapy and those who didn’t.
And the new treatment could begin immediately.
“Most women diagnosed with breast cancer are over 50, but younger women can also get breast cancer”, says the NHS on its website.
“We’ll give women in this group about six months of chemotherapy”, Brawley said.
A woman appears to have been cured of advanced drug-resistant breast cancer after doctors harnessed her own immune system to fight the disease. “In many cases, we will be able to tailor treatments to the patient and their tumor”.
The decade-long study, discussed Sunday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago, is hailed as the largest breast cancer treatment trial ever conducted.
In cancers such as those of the breast, colon and prostate, scientists have long detected that “there is some immune reaction”, Mackall said. Now only about 60 percent of US patients who could potentially benefit from it are taking the gene test, he says.
Women with a score above 25 generally are given chemotherapy.
Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, the research team said the unnamed 49-year-old woman had been disease free for nearly two years. In addition, women 50 and younger who scored between zero and 15 could be spared chemotherapy and its toxic side effects.
Laszlo Radvanyi, scientific director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, who was not involved in the patient’s treatment, said it was “an unprecedented response in such advanced breast cancer”. Others want chemo for even the smallest chance of benefit. Oncotype DX and other genomic tests have spurred a trend sure to accelerate following Sunday’s report. Even though the drug treatment remains one of our most powerful tools in killing cancer cells, it can also wreck havoc on the body, both during treatment and for years afterward. Perkins said she “cornered her with a beer” and said she wanted to enroll.
He added that it was important that the federal government funded the study because the pharmaceutical industry has little interest in sponsoring trials that result in a reduction of treatment.
Scott Antonia, an immunologist at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, said further work is crucial. One of them, a 59-year-old woman came to her office recently with a recurrence score of 17, and was seriously considering chemotherapy.
“With this test, you listen to the tumor’s genes”, he said.