Due to the outcome of a recent study, doctors around the United States are finally admitting that many women who received chemo for breast cancer actually didn't need it. Dr Ingrid Mayer, an author of the study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said “We can spare thousands and thousands of women from getting toxic treatment that really wouldn’t benefit them. This is very powerful. It really changes the standard of care.”
"I think this is a very significant advance,” said Dr. Larry Norton, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York which participated in the study. “I’ll be able to look people in the eye and say, ‘We analyzed your tumor, you have a really good prognosis and you actually don’t need chemotherapy.’ That’s a nice thing to be able to say to somebody."
According to Dr. Joseph A. Sparano of Montefiore Medical Center in New York, the leader of the study, “The results indicate that now we can spare chemotherapy in about 70 percent of patients who would be potential candidates for it based on clinical features.”
Dr. Sparano admitted that doctors have been overtreating women, and in fact chemo only helped prevent recurrences in 4 out of every 100 patients.
The study began in 2006 and included 10,253 women ages 18 to 75. 70 percent had scores of 11 to 25 on the gene test. They had surgery and radiation, and then were assigned at random to receive either endocrine therapy alone, or endocrine therapy plus chemo. The median follow-up was more than seven years. The two groups fared equally well. Chemo had no advantage.
Mainstream medicine has come to the realization that in 96% of patients with breast cancer chemo had no long term benefits for breast cancer patients and wasn't worth the toxic side effects.