Monday December 17, 2018

Chemotherapy May Not Be Needed To Treat Breast Cancer: Study

Because of this study, more women will will be able to get treated without the negative side effects of chemotherapy.

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Breast Cancer
Chemists develop unique disease-fighting 'nano-grenades'. VOA
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After a diagnosis of breast cancer, many women have surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation. But a new study shows that if the cancer is caught early enough, women might be able to avoid the chemotherapy.

Since she was diagnosed with breast cancer last April, Amy Adam values family time even more.

“It made us aware that when it comes down to it, family is what matters,” she said.

Adam was lucky — a mammogram caught her cancer early… when the tumor was just three by four millimeters, smaller than the size of a pencil eraser. Her treatment — a lumpectomy… followed by radiation.

“No chemo, did not have chemo,” she said.

Dr. Emily Albright is a surgical oncologist at the University of Missouri Health Care. She says more women with early-stage breast cancer may be able to skip chemotherapy. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that genetic testing can determine the likelihood of the cancer returning.

The study found women with a low risk of the cancer recurring didn’t benefit from chemotherapy. Women with a high risk of recurrence do better with chemotherapy. But Albright says doctors didn’t know how to advise women in the mid-range.

“The recent results have clarified that for women at intermediate risk of recurrence, the majority of those do not benefit from chemotherapy,” she said.

breast cancer
FILE – A patient receives chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer at the Antoine-Lacassagne Cancer Center in Nice, July 26, 2012. VOA

With genetic testing, doctors can determine the likelihood of a woman’s cancer returning. Most people know that nausea, hair loss and fatigue result from chemotherapy, but chemotherapy can also cause heart and nerve damage.

Albright says the results of this study will help many patients whose breast cancer is caught early.

“As we learn more about the biology, weʼre able to tailor treatments to the specific type of tumor that a patient has, so there are some small tumors that may be more aggressive and there may be some larger tumors that are less aggressive,” she said.

Also Read: Common Chemotherapy Drug May Lead To Heart Failure: Study

Screening was key in catching Amy Adam’s cancer early. Mammograms can detect a lump two years before a woman can even feel it.

Adam said it was a huge relief not to have to undergo chemotherapy. Because of this study, more women will will be able to get treated without the negative side effects of chemotherapy. (VOA)

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New Drug to Give Hopes to Bone Marrow Cancer Patients

It reduced the risk of progression or death by more than 50 per cent in both groups

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

A therapeutic drug has been found to improve outcomes and survival rates for patients with a serious type of bone marrow cancer.

In a clinical trial by researchers at Newcastle University in Britain, patients with newly diagnosed myeloma were treated with a drug called lenalidomide.

The results, published in the journal The Lancet Oncology, showed an improvement for those who received lenalidomide drug, compared to those not receiving it.

“This is a major breakthrough as it shows that the long-term use of lenalidomide significantly improves the time myeloma patients stay in remission after initial therapy,” said Professor Graham Jackson from the Northern Institute for Cancer Research at Newcastle.

Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells and it can affect several areas of the body, such as the spine, skull, pelvis and ribs. Current treatment usually involves chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant.

cancer
New drug offers hope for bone marrow cancer patients. Pixabay

“It is a huge step and, importantly, identifies that for younger patients lenalidomide improves their overall survival for this difficult-to-treat bone marrow cancer,” Jackson said.

“Our research highlights that lenalidomide should be considered for newly diagnosed patients following stem-cell transplantation,” he added.

As part of the study, a total of 1,137 newly diagnosed patients were randomly assigned to lenalidomide maintenance therapy and 834 patients to observation – this was after they completed their initial treatment.

Also Read- Narendra Modi Accuses Congress of Aiding Those Who Want to Weaken Army

The results show that lenalidomide can prolong the average remission time by more than two years in younger patients and by well over a year in older, less fit patients.

It reduced the risk of progression or death by more than 50 per cent in both groups. (IANS)