An addition has been made to the number of novel ways through which treatments may be improved for patients suffering with breast cancer. A latest trial has stated that changing the order of chemotherapy medications provided to such patients prior to their surgery may improve the outcome of their treatment. This huge phase III clinical trial was said to have been conducted by the experts from Cambridge University.
These experts were believed to have assessed the breast cancer patients who had large cancerous tumors. Seemingly, these women were presumed to suffer from an aggressive form of the disease. Therefore it is believed that such women may require chemotherapy before their surgery to reduce the size of their tumor.
It was observed that initially treating such patients with Taxol or combinations of taxanes, followed by epirubicin and cyclophosphamide may be beneficial. Following these treatments there may be a higher chance of completely eradicating the tumor during surgery. More so, it was also noted that in comparison to the traditional treatments this new approach seemed to be 33% more beneficial to the patients.
“Having chemotherapy before surgery is important for women who have larger tumors, which often means they have a more aggressive form of the disease. For many women, shrinking the tumor before it is removed could be the difference between having a mastectomy and saving the breast with a small amount of surgery,” says lead investigator, Dr. Helena Earl, Cambridge University.
“There could be big advantages from reversing the standard sequence and giving the Taxol or taxane combinations first. A further advantage is that Taxol and similar taxanes can be more easily combined with some of the newer breast cancer treatments like Herceptin and Avastin,” adds Dr. Earl. “We are very grateful to all the patients who took part in this research. It will help us work out which tumors respond best to which treatment and is part of our larger program of research in Cambridge to tailor treatments better to individual cancers.”
In fact these experts were even said to have assessed whether the inclusion of gemcitabine to standard chemotherapy before the surgery may benefit these patients or not. It was noticed that it didn’t seem to have much effect on the way these patients responded to their treatments.
These findings may aid in searching for the most appropriate type of treatment for women with an aggressive form of breast tumor. This may in turn be instrumental in increasing their longevity in the long run.
These findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) conference.