Studies have shown that women in the low risk category can effectively be treated without receiving chemotherapy, while those with a high risk of recurrence do need chemo.
246 patients took part in the phase 3 PREOPANC-1 trial and were randomly assigned to receive either surgery immediately or chemoradiotherapy for 10 weeks followed by surgery.
Findings of the past have indicated that women who met these criteria and scored below ten on the index test could safely skip chemotherapy without raising their rate of recurrence, however, those above 25 would nearly always be advised to use chemotherapy as a necessary treatment to lower risk of recurrence. "You're never going to see these kinds of trials from the drug companies", because what is being tested might result in less use of their products, Brawley said.
The findings suggest that thousands of women could one day forgo a treatment with long-term health ramifications without risking the spread of cancer.
Doctors say avoiding chemotherapy can spare women the high costs and side effects of the regimen.
"However, this is a small study so more research is needed before we have clear-cut answers on the benefits of fish oil for easing pain from breast cancer treatment".
"We need to know what is really causing these diseases so we can treat them properly". Lastly, these cancer diagnoses must land between 11 and 25 on the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test.
Dr. Jennifer Litton at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, agreed, but said, "Risk to one person is not the same thing as risk to another". But, she remembers the side effects of chemotherapy like it was yesterday. "The trial was created to address this question and provides a very definitive answer", said Dr. Sparano.
Along with this new breakthrough is a renewed emphasis on early cancer detection. When the trial was activated, the best available genomic profiling data in women with early-stage breast cancer were retrospective. Since 1998, when the charity stamp was authorized by Congress and first issued by the United States Postal Service, more than $86 million has been raised for breast cancer research. The extra 6 cents went for research - 70 percent to the Cancer Institute and 30 percent to the Department of Defense. "Any woman with early-stage breast cancer age 75 or younger should have the 21-gene expression test and discuss the results with her doctor to guide her decision to the right therapy".