New Cancer Center Will Focus On Hard-To-Treat Breast Cancers

The results of the new therapy could radically change the way doctors study cancer and options for treatment. She said the study gives hope to patients that immunotherapy may work where other therapies don't. They also basically had the same survival rate without recurrence after nine years (83.3 percent for hormone therapy and 84.3 percent for combined therapies), according to the National Cancer Institute report.

A groundbreaking study has concluded that most women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer can avoid going through chemotherapy thanks to a new genetic treatment.

Rosenberg, who takes on patients with particularly aggressive cancers or just months to live, knows the treatment is not yet ready for widespread use but believes it could pave the way for treatment of several different cancers.

Dr. Joseph Sparano, lead researcher, Montefiore Medical Center, New York, said, "The impact is remarkable". Most women in this situation don't need treatment beyond surgery and hormone therapy, he said.

Recently, the results of the highly anticipated TAILORx study were announced at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

A test that targets particular genes in breast cancer tissue has meant fewer women have had to endure chemotherapy in recent years. "But because this new approach to immunotherapy is dependent on mutations, not on cancer type, it is in a sense a blueprint we can use for the treatment of many types of cancer".

This patient received the treatment in a clinical trial led by Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Surgery Branch at NCI's Center for Cancer Research (CCR), and the findings are in Nature Medicine.

"This research is experimental right now".

"All cancers have mutations, and that's what we're attacking with this immunotherapy", he said.

Sunday's results came from a federally sponsored trial called TailorX, which was created to help doctors more precisely tailor treatments for early-stage breast cancer.

"I think it had been maybe 10 days since I'd gotten the cells, and I could already feel that tumor starting to get soft", Perkins told CBS. Rosenberg is a pioneer in harnessing the immune system to fight cancer.

Now, after an infusion of billions of cancer-killing immune cells, and having been given a life expectancy of just a few months, there is no sign of cancer in her body - a "complete, durable regression" in the words of the scientists that developed the therapy. Standard chemotherapy act on all rapidly dividing cancerous cells as well as normal cells, while targeted cancer therapies act on specific molecular targets that are associated with cancer.

"The idea behind the trial is to use two drugs to try and increase the immune response in the tumor and then start the chemotherapy", Dr. Bear said. "Among the remaining half, 30-35% may require undergoing Oncotype DX test to predict risk of recurrence and chemotherapy need", Dr Deo said.

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