Regarding to chemotherapy treatments and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we want our open MRI Santa Clarita patients to stay up to date. A new research study of early-stage breast cancer victims offers some amazing new information regarding chemotherapy treatments. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, certain patients might be able to avoid chemotherapy completely and still fully recover. Over the five-year study, women with tumors of a certain genetic makeup used only surgery and medication to block the production of hormones that feed the breast cancer. Of the women who participated in the case study, 94% were cancer-free within five years by following this chemo-less treatment plan.
The medical community has known for years that gene testing can provide very valuable information that can predict the tumors’ abilities to grow and spread more aggressively. One such test is called the Oncotype DX test. Since 2004, scientists have been perfecting this test in the hopes of using the results to predict successfully whether a patient is at high-risk or low-risk to developing breast cancer in the future. This new study is the first to assign different treatment options to patients based on their risk levels and to then determine how successful these treatment plans work.
Over 10,000 women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer participated in the New England Journal of Medicine study. Scientists measured the results on a scale from 1 to 100. 16% of the women scored below 11 and were considered low-risk. 67% fell into the intermediate-risk category with scores ranging from 11 to 25. 17% scored above 25-points, placing them into the high-risk group. None of the low-risk patients received chemotherapy treatments, and they all eventually became cancer-free, which has led to the recently published findings.
What about the intermediate- and high-risk patients? Researchers are still tracking their progress. While all of the high-risk patients received chemotherapy, the intermediate group was randomly divided. Some received hormone therapy. Others received chemo. The scientists involved in the study hope to one day publish the results, perhaps determining whether chemotherapy is simply an extra and unnecessary cancer treatment or if it is truly only needed for a select group of breast cancer victims with special genetic markers.