Doctor preparing one of the breast cancer patients for consultation
(Mirror Daily, United States) Cancer is a terrible condition which can strike out of the blue, and for which no remedy stands as the ultimate cure. What’s more, chemotherapy is also a drag for patients, because it causes them pain and hair loss, among other disadvantages. This is why researchers try to find an alternative solution to chemo, and they think they might have found one for breast cancer patients.
Researchers discovered that women who are diagnosed with early stages of breast cancer could give up chemotherapy thanks to a new test. It is called MammaPrint, and it implies no medication, and patients are free from following any painful treatment as the risk of the disease to come back is low.
Although chemotherapy is good at destroying cancer cells, it also destroys healthy cells, which leads to several complications in women’s lives.
The new method, MammaPrint, has been tested in hospitals in several European countries for the past five years, and had good results. 6.600 women enjoyed the results, and many of them had a normal life after cancer surgery and no chemotherapy.
In the United Kingdom, there are more than 50 thousand diagnoses of breast cancer each year, and approximately 70% of the cases turn out to be early stages of the disease. Usually, all breast cancer patients would follow chemotherapy, which assured a higher level of safety, but the new test can predict which patients really need the treatment and which could skip it, being out of danger.
Doctor Laura van ‘t Veer is the one who developed this project. She told The Telegraph about the success of the test:
“The trial has proved with the highest level of evidence that, by evaluating the expression of 70 key genes, MammaPrint provides an accurate, definitive assessment of the risk of breast cancer recurrence, empowering physicians to make confident, informed treatment decisions with their patients.”
Even if breast cancer patients had their surgery and the test allowed them to skip chemotherapy, the doctors are still interested in their evolution and health status.
If Europe uses MammaPrint, in the United States there is another test which can be used, namely Oncotype DX.
A study was written based on the results of the trail and it was published in New England Journal of Medicine.
Image courtesy of: Wikipedia