Groundbreaking study could change how breast cancer is treated

June 4, 2018

Results from the largest-ever study on breast cancer treatments suggest that a large number of patients who catch the disease early may not need chemotherapy.

In the decade-long study of about 10,000 women, which was published Sunday in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers analyzed 21 genes related to breast cancer to determine the risk of cancer recurrence in each patient. The test is already being used by some doctors, but the results have helped confirm the accuracy of the tool.

The patients in the study had the most common kind of breast cancer, it had not spread to the lymph nodes and it didn’t contain the HER2 protein.

Ultimately the scientists found that 70 percent of patients with this kind of early stage cancer could safely opt for hormonal treatment and skip chemo.

The results are expected to have a big impact on how doctors treat breast cancer patients and could affect about 85,000 women a year in the U.S.

Read the full Los Angeles Times report.