Researchers use immune-cell ‘army’ to target cancer tumours

Researchers use immune-cell ‘army’ to target cancer tumours

Researchers use immune-cell ‘army’ to target cancer tumours

A doctor exams mammograms, as part of a regular cancer prevention medical check-up at a clinic in Nice, south eastern France. The findings, to be presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in Chicago, are based on based on a comprehensive review of data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the world's largest public database containing genetic information about various different types of tumors.

Using the breast cancer test, which looks at the activity of genes, the test found that more women with lower scores will not require chemotherapy.

As many as 65,000 women in the United States alone could be affected by the findings.

In addition to their Oncotype DX results, women most likely to be able to skip chemo have breast cancer that has not spread to their lymph nodes and have tumors smaller than five centimeters in diameter.

"Our study shows that chemotherapy may be avoided in about 70 percent of these women when its use is guided by the test, thus limiting chemotherapy to the 30 percent who we can predict will benefit from it", said lead researcher Dr Joseph A. Sparano, associate director for clinical research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Health System in NY.

The TAILORx trial used the Oncotype DX test which allows doctors to predict the likelihood of the breast cancer returning. About 16 percent with low-risk scores knew they could skip chemo. She had a lumpectomy, followed by a mastectomy, and had a recurrence score of 12 or 13, which put her in the middle range.

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Researchers studied their outcomes, including whether or not cancer recurred, and their overall survival.

The study found that for participants with gene test scores between 11 and 25 - especially among women ages 50 to 75 - there was no significant difference between the chemotherapy and no chemotherapy groups.

Those with a recurrence score of up to 10 out of 100 have been shown not to benefit from chemo and those with a score of 26 or higher do benefit. The TAILORx trial was created to help personalize treatment for women 18 to 75 years of age with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, HER2-negative, axillary node (AN)-negative breast cancer whose tumors were 1.1 cm to 5.0 cm in size and who had a mid-range RS. "We can de-escalate toxic treatments and do that with certainty".

"The impact is tremendous", study leader, Dr. Joseph Sparano of Montefiore Medical Center in NY, told the Associated Press.

For women in the USA, breast cancer death rates are higher than those for any other cancer, besides lung cancer.

The trial focused on HR positive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer, which is the most common type of early stage breast cancer.

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After the treatment, all of this patient's cancer disappeared and has not returned more than 22 months later. Adjuvant chemotherapy guided by a 21-gene expression assay in breast cancer [published online June 3, 2018].

Immunotherapy, which involves stimulating the body's natural defences to fight cancer, is already being used to tackle certain cancers, and some forms are already available on the NHS.

It is the first time this kind of approach has been successful in treating advanced breast cancer.

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"They were able to give the patient's own immune system a major boost".

Chemotherapy is the use of chemical substances to remove any remaining cancer cells after a surgery to remove a tumour. However the benefits were unclear for those who fall between which is the vast majority.

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