Cancer treatment untested in many patients with immune problems
Thousands of cancer patients could be spared chemotherapy every year following significant advances in personalised medicine, experts have said. Because of this, patients may find themselves stopping the pills before the first five years, resulting in risks not being lowered.
Instead, targeted drugs created to bring the cancer under control can be selected – and an earlier study of 13,000 patients saw a significant boost in the number of cases where tumours shrank.
United Kingdom trial lead Dr Sara Erridge, consultant oncologist at the Edinburgh Cancer Centre, said: “Our important study showed that giving temozolomide chemotherapy after radiotherapy delays progression and significantly improves survival for this group of patients”.
Wagle and colleagues initiated The Metastatic Breast Cancer Project, a nationwide study that encouraged patients to share samples and medical records in an effort to hasten research.
The study was funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and administered by SWOG, a global network of researchers who design and conduct cancer clinical trials.
But they cause unpleasant side effects in about half of all patients including hot flushes, sleeping difficulties and the bone thinning condition osteoporosis.
It also found that prolonging treatment decreases the chance of a new cancer developing in the healthy breast.
“With genomic testing of tumors becoming increasingly available, studies such as ours will help more patients benefit from precision medicine approaches”, said lead study author John Hainsworth, senior investigator at Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
Two patients discontinued therapy because of adverse events related to the drug.
The app, named Moovcare, enables patient-doctor communication even at a distance, using remote monitoring to quickly detect relapses or complications.
In the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 1,918 post-menopausal women with early-stage breast cancer were split into two groups of either five or 10 years on AIs.
An analysis by the charity Cancer Research UK found patients were not getting tested in order to get a precision treatment.
Results of the study showed that patients who used metformin before being diagnosed with breast cancer were more than twice as likely to die than patients who never used the drug, while patients who began using metformin after their cancer diagnosis were nearly 50 percent more likely to survive than non-users.
A team at a Turkish hospital analysed data from 295 patients to show obese women were both less likely to respond to treatment and more likely to see their cancer return.
Clinicians knew from previous studies that using tamoxifen for up to 10 years was better than using it for 5 years, but there wasn’t corresponding data for aromatase inhibitors.
Extending aromatase inhibitor therapy for 5 years beyond an initial 5 years resulted in a 34% reduction in recurrence without worsening quality of life in postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer, according to study results presented during the plenary session of the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Now, said: ‘This a really important study that could one day have a major impact on how we use aromatase breast cancer treatments.
“There isn’t a point at which we look at the woman and say ‘You’re done, it’s not going to come back, ‘ ” said Dr. Lisa Carey, a breast cancer specialist at the University of North Carolina who was not involved in the study.