Experimental immunotherapy treatment used to fight breast cancer

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"Any woman with early-stage breast cancer 75 years or younger should have the test and discuss the results of [this study] with her doctor to guide her decision regarding chemotherapy after surgery to prevent recurrence", Dr. Sparano said in a statement.

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.

The good news for around 70,000 women each year comes from the largest study done of breast cancer treatment.

"These results will inform clinical decision making, and in future, many women with certain types of early-stage breast cancer can avoid chemotherapy without impacting on the success of their treatment", he said. "I've been anxious for a long time about unnecessary treatment for cancer, and unnecessary side effects from chemotherapy".

"Breast cancer treatments have advanced so much that treatments can nearly be tailored for patients and this is extremely welcome news as chemotherapy is a particularly invasive treatment". "We are de-escalating toxic therapy".

Catherine Floyd, Cancer Survivor, says, "I had nausea".

"You will see it nationwide and you will see it here", says Sparrow Hospital Oncologist Dr. Gordan Srkalovic.

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This is one more piece of information that will help form treatment plans, along with information like the patient's health history, her exact type of cancer, her stage of cancer, and her age.

Dr Rosenberg added: "This is highly experimental and we're just learning how to do this, but potentially it is applicable to any cancer".

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have put a patient with metastatic breast cancer into complete remission using a new approach to immunotherapy. Similar tests including one called MammaPrint may also be used.

Forty nine-year-old Judy Perkins, from Florida, had advanced breast cancer which had stopped responding to chemotherapy and other treatments. 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.

Scientists previously found that women with a low risk of their cancer returning can receive hormone therapy alone.

Previous trials involving cancer immunotherapy have found that it "tends to work spectacularly for some patients, but the majority do not benefit", the BBC reports. Others want chemo for even the smallest chance of benefit. Data on premenopausal women and those younger than 50 who scored at the higher end of the intermediate-risk range, 16 to 25, was analyzed separately.

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It's been nine years and almost all women tested in both groups are still alive.

However, they said chemotherapy also produces a lot of side effects.

Among the potential long-term effects are heart disease, leukemia, and neuropathy. It was uncertain whether the benefits of chemotherapy were enough to justify the risks and toxicity. "They focused on mutations that disrupted four genes which produced an array of abnormal proteins in the tumors". Genes are either off or on.

"This is going to provide the highest level of evidence now for our test being indispensable in clinical practice", Dr Shak said.

"It means we can better use the treatments... so that we can achieve our ultimate goal", Dr. David Cescon of Toronto's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre told CTV News.

"You can get them to the same place... without side effects and toxicity", he said. The researchers gave half the women hormone-blocking drugs alone, and half hormone-blocking drugs and chemotherapy.

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