There are several factors that determine whether or not a patient will, in fact, be able to forgo the chemo, most significant being if they score in the mid-range or lower for risk that their cancer will recur, as measured by a common genomic test.
Most women with the most common form of early-stage breast cancer can safely skip chemotherapy without hurting their chances of beating the disease, says a landmark study that used genetic testing to gauge each patient's risk.
Dr Epstein, a clinical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in NY, said the two studies show "the anti-inflammatory benefits of a relatively cheap, well-tolerated supplement".
The finding is for women who've been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, specifically those who are hormone-receptor positive, HER2 negative and node-negative cancer. The two most recent studies it is funding look at tomosynthesis - a newer breast imaging technique - versus standard-of-care 3D mammograms, and research on whether weight loss impacts breast cancer treatment and outcomes. He said "Oncologists have been waiting for these results, it will affect practice on Monday morning".
The benefits were seen in some breast and bowel cancer patients, with the supplement thought to reduce inflammation. "It's a great news story".
While overall survival was small in the study because the patients were so ill to start with, the scientists behind it said the relative benefit of matched therapy applies to all cancer patients.
"This life-changing breakthrough is absolutely wonderful news as it could liberate thousands of women from the agony of chemotherapy". "So this is actually a huge finding for us in the world of medical oncology", said Dr. Susan Newman, an oncologist at UT Medical Center.
The study was supported in part by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Komen Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Research Stamp. Similar tests including one called MammaPrint also are widely used. To conduct the study, women in the intermediate groups were either prescribed chemotherapy or given treatment absent of the use of chemotherapy. She said hearing about the new study is thrilling.
"This study is an example of how treatments can be refined in an attempt to work better for patients", said ASCO expert Dr. Andrew Epstein.
10 decades back in Montefiore and has been assigned to the team awarded chemo. "I sort of viewed chemo as extra insurance", she said.
"I was somewhat relieved".
"I lost my hair".
If doctors had recommended she skip chemo based on the gene test, "I would have accepted that", she said.