Early Stage Breast Cancer Do Not Benefit from Chemotherapy

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UnityPoint Health - John Stoddard Cancer Center

John Stoddard Cancer Center Reveals Research Findings

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Des Moines, IA – John Stoddard Cancer Center recently participated in a ground-breaking national clinical cancer research study finding that many women with early breast cancer do not benefit from chemotherapy. The TAILORx trial showed no benefit from chemotherapy for 70 percent of women with the most common type of breast cancer (hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node-negative breast cancer).

“These data confirm that using a 21-gene expression test to assess the risk of cancer recurrence can spare women unnecessary treatment if the test indicates that chemotherapy is not likely to provide benefit, said Dr. Robert Behrens, Principal Investigator for Iowa Wide Oncology Research Coalition (I-WORC).”

In the past, when patients fell in to the intermediate-risk group of the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence score, there was uncertainty about whether or not to give them chemotherapy. Women were not exactly eager to go through chemotherapy treatments that may or may not benefit them. However, they also wished the treatments necessary to maximize their chance for cure.  Now we use a test to pick which women where chemotherapy is not beneficial and they can safely be spared chemotherapy.

Central Iowa patients from the Stoddard Cancer Center were major contributors to this advancement with 43 local participants. The TAILORx study was a nationwide trial conducted in hundreds of health systems and enrolled volunteer patients between 2006 and 2010.