Navigation Links
Longer Drug Regimen Still Best Against Breast Cancer
Date:6/2/2010

Giving meds sequentially, not concurrently, gives survival edge for those with early stage disease, study finds

WEDNESDAY, June 2 (HealthDay News) -- For patients with early stage breast cancer, taking chemotherapy drugs sequentially over six months helps improve their survival compared to taking them at the same time over a shorter three-month span, a new study found.

The new findings will probably come as a relief to doctors, most of whom already follow the sequential protocol, said Dr. Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy, a breast oncologist with the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center--Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute in Columbus.

But the "most exciting and surprising finding," said study lead author Dr. Sandra M. Swain, was that younger women who went into early menopause because of their chemotherapy -- in other words, those who stopped having periods -- were more likely to live longer.

"That's something that's not been reported," added Swain, who is medical director of the Washington Cancer Institute, Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

And this was true irrespective of whether the women's cancers were estrogen-receptor positive (meaning estrogen furthers their growth) or not.

In the study, reported in the June 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the authors tracked outcomes for almost 5,400 women with early stage breast cancer that had spread to at least one lymph node.

The patients were randomly divided into one of three treatment groups: the sequential group, which involved three drugs (doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and docetaxel) taken in sequence over six months; or one of two "concurrent" groups, where women received either two or three of these medications concurrently for three months.

After eight years of follow-up, 83 percent of patients in the sequential group were still alive compared to 79 percent of those in the concurrent groups, the authors report.

Disease-free survival was also better in the sequential group, leading to the conclusion that a longer course of treatment remains better than a shorter course, the study said.

However, an accompanying editorial in the journal pointed out that the side effects associated with the longer program might not be worth the small survival advantage for many women.

As to the issue of amenorrhea (cessation of menstrual cycles) also improving survival, Swain said, this "really generated a new hypothesis that connects cessation of menses with survival."

No periods mean less estrogen is circulating in the body and estrogen is known to fuel certain types of cancers. But that isn't a likely explanation in this study, given that amenorrhea also resulted in longer survival even in women whose tumors were estrogen-receptor (ER) negative -- that is, their cancers don't respond to estrogen.

"This [study] gives us a hint that women who stop having their periods -- even in the patients who are not ER positive -- may have a survival advantage," said Dr. Jay Brooks, chairman of hematology/oncology at Ochsner Health System in Baton Rouge, La.

However, given that so much remains unknown, the message to women is not that suppressing ovarian function is a way to reduce their risk of breast cancer, said another study author, Dr. Charles E. Geyer Jr., director of medical affairs of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (which conducted the trial) and vice chair of human oncology at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

More information

To learn more about breast cancer, visit the U.S. National Cancer Institute.



SOURCES: Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy, M.D., breast oncologist, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center--Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute, Columbus; Sandra M. Swain, M.D., medical director, Washington Cancer Institute, Washington Hospital Center, Washington D.C.; Charles E. Geyer Jr., M.D., director of medical affairs, NSABP and vice chair of human oncology, Allegheny General Hospital, Pittsburgh; Jay Brooks, M.D., chairman of hematology/oncology, Ochsner Health System, Baton Rouge, La.; June 3, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Using Nicotine Patch Longer Boosts Efforts to Quit
2. Sedation Linked to Longer Stay in ICU
3. Zambian study finds longer breastfeeding best for HIV-infected mothers
4. Pet Health Insurance Grows as Pets Live Longer and Healthier Lives
5. Marijuana Use No Longer Dropping Among U.S. Teens
6. Looking Younger Than Your Age May Mean Longer Life
7. Military children face more emotional challenges as parental deployments grow longer, study finds
8. Glaucoma Drugs May Play Role in Longer Life
9. Biological clock could be a key to better health, longer life
10. Big Smiles, Longer Lives?
11. Perhaps a longer lifespan, certainly a longer health span
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... March 23, 2017 , ... ... Center at 10 North Broadway Avenue, will be an educational and exciting program ... instruction in the management of chronic pain. , Oklahoma is in a healthcare ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2017 , ... March is ... that pack a punch when it comes to maintaining good health. Every day, two ... minutes, your kidneys filter every drop of your blood, eliminating waste, regulating fluid levels ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... ... The TouchPoint Solution, home of Buzzies *, is boosting the Arizona economy ... change the way we interact with stress and live our day-to-day lives,” said Dr. ... December 2016, The TouchPoint Solution has sold more than $750,000 in product sales. The ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... 2017 , ... ?This conference will prominently feature 150+ Hospital and Health System Executive Speakers including: ... Salka , 43rd President of the United States of America: George W. Bush ... and Out of the Ring: Sugar Ray Leonard , JD, Chairperson, McGuireWoods LLP: ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... ... , ... It’s that time of year again! Time to think about summer ... , which can be frustrating when they don’t even know how to begin describing ... public relations firm outside of Philadelphia, have offered these three tips to make the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017 ... Pharmaceutical and Healthcare disease pipeline guide Primary Hyperoxaluria ... of the Primary Hyperoxaluria (Genito Urinary System And ... a rare condition characterized by recurrent kidney and ... a substance called oxalate. Symptoms include blood in ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... , March 23, 2017  Digital Pharmacist ... ), a rapidly growing digital health company, ... mobile app that allows patients to manage their ... locations such as Denver Health Pharmacy, USave Pharmacy ... acquisition helps Digital Pharmacist accelerate its product development ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... -- Ethicon* today announced the completion of its acquisition ... device company that manufactures and markets the LINX™ ... Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). This acquisition is aligned ... minimally invasive options for patients suffering from prevalent ... transaction have not been disclosed. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: