Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Automatic texting helps ease stress of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients

Automatic texting helps ease stress of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients

Although this work does indicate that thousands of women can be spared this hard treatment, it doesn't mean skipping chemo is the right choice for all early-stage breast cancer patients.

"It feels miraculous and I am beyond amazed that I have now been free of cancer for two years".

Sunday's results came from a federally sponsored trial called TailorX, which was created to help doctors more precisely tailor treatments for early-stage breast cancer. Researchers point out that while the treatment could in principle work for many different kinds of cancer, it will not help everyone.

The Oncotype DX test costs $4,600 and is typically reimbursed by insurance, according to Dr. Steven Shak, chief medical officer of Genomic Health, the maker of Oncotype DX.

Using a pioneering antibody technique, medical researchers have completely eliminated advanced breast cancer from a 49-year-old woman. The tumour is assigned a "recurrence score" from 0 to 100 - higher the score, greater the chance the cancer will recur, with chemotherapy reducing the risk of recurrence. "With all the side effects that chemotherapy has, if there's any way it can be avoided, if it's not necessary, you don't want to give it, you don't want to take it", Yost said.

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

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After five years, 92.8 percent of the women who received hormone therapy alone, and 93.1 percent of those who received hormone therapy plus chemotherapy, were cancer-free.

These women would instead be treated with radiation, surgery, and hormone therapy.

"All cancers have mutations, and that's what we're attacking with this immunotherapy", he said. "I spoke to four people about her case, including one of the doctors associated with the Tailorx trial", said Dr Ramesh Sarin, senior consultant surgical oncology at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals.

However, among younger women with scores 16 to 25, outcomes were slightly better in the chemotherapy group, so in those cases doctors may urge patients to consider a chemo regimen.

"Chemotherapy has saved a tremendous amount of lives, and will continue to do so", Baselga says.

The study, which has been closely followed by many oncologists worldwide who have been using earlier findings to guide their treatment of patients since the study began in 2006, was praised by cancer research advocates as progress made possible by cutting-edge advances in genomics.

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A sample of the tumour is tested after surgery for 21 genetic markers, which indicate if it could grow and spread.

The treatment is not only expensive but physically demanding and several other patients in the clinical trial died during treatment, including several who succumbed to side effects.

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

Jennifer Litton, an associate professor and oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, told USA Today that the results will help patients and their doctors make more informed decisions.

That's why it's great news to hear that doctors in the U.S. have just made an wonderful scientific breakthrough through, curing a woman who was in the advanced stages of the disease. "That tumor I could palpate with my fingers and it started to get softer and shrink", she said.

The TAILORx trial shows that only 30% of women with this particular form of early-stage breast cancer derive any benefit from the treatment.

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