Landmark study shows no need for chemo in many breast cancer cases

Two major studies released over the weekend show that many people with lung and breast cancers may be able to avoid chemotherapy and still live longer, signalling a perspective shift on what has long seen as the standard of cancer care.

US researchers have announced that about 70% of women with early-stage breast cancer and an intermediate risk of cancer recurrence can safely skip chemotherapy after their tumors have been removed.

The research, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago, studied how to treat women with early-stage breast cancer that responds to hormone therapy.

A 21-gene test predicts the likelihood of cancer recurrence within 10 years. For those whose score is low — from 0 to 10 — they are already told to skip chemotherapy after their tumours are removed and they receive hormone therapy. Those who score high — 26 to 100 — receive both hormone therapy and chemotherapy.

The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, involved more than 10,000 women with breast cancer that had not spread to nearby lymph nodes and whose tumours responded to hormone therapy and tested negative for the HER2 gene.

You can read a bit more about the study findings: HERE.