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Hot from ESMO – new treatment strategies for breast cancer

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Results of a trial comparing high-dose with conventional chemotherapy for breast cancer patients have shown there are no apparent differences in survival or in the rate of relapse.

Dr John Crown from St Vincent’s University Hospital in Dublin said this research had been conducted in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Belgium, however, they found that new drugs that target the molecules associated with cancer, given in conjunction with chemotherapy, offer promising prospects for clinical trials.

Studies were focused on high-dose chemotherapy both in patients whose cancer has spread to other organs, as well as high-risk patients at an early stage of the disease. “There were great expectations for high-dose chemotherapy, but evidence from a number of trials show that there are no real benefits that outweigh the side-effects or improve the chances of survival,” said Dr Crown.

Dr Crown and colleague Professor Robert Leonard conducted the ‘Anglo-Celtic I Study’, of more than 600 women with severe breast cancer involving the lymph nodes with a short program of high-dose chemotherapy. Results of the 5-year follow-up were presented and showed no significant differences in the survival or the rate of relapse. “In truth, the results of conventional-dose chemotherapy were better than expected,” he said. “However, we must keep an open mind for the rest of the data, although our results already indicate that any benefits that emerge from high-dose chemotherapy will be, at best, modest.”

Dr Crown says these results show “how far we can go with chemotherapy” and that “it would seem the post-chemotherapy phase of the war on cancer has just begun”.

(Source: ESMO)

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Posted On: 23 October, 2002
Modified On: 3 December, 2013


Created by: myVMC