A new clinical trial has shown that reducing the interval between successive doses of a commonly used chemotherapy regimen improves survival in women whose breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. While previous research has evaluated the use of various forms of "dose dense" chemotherapy, this is the first major controlled study to show a clear survival benefit for women with node-positive breast cancer. The study was conducted by Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) for the Breast Cancer Intergroup, a consortium of National Cancer Institute (NCI)-sponsored Cooperative Clinical Trials Groups, and is being presented today at the 25th Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.
"This study suggests that many women with breast cancer may benefit from chemotherapy administered on a condensed schedule," said Marc L. Citron, M.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine, who is the lead investigator of the study. "With the availability of new drugs to control one of the most serious side effects of chemotherapy administration, we can further increase the chances of survival for women with breast cancer." The dose dense regimen was made tolerable for patients because of the drug filgrastim, which helps prevent neutropenia, a serious complication of chemotherapy.
The researchers found that two dose dense regimens provided significantly higher disease-free survival rates than two regimens using conventional dosing, and that efficacy did not differ between the two dose dense regimens. Among patients on the dose dense regimens, disease-free survival was 82 percent after four years, compared to 75 percent for those who received conventional therapy. This difference corresponded to a 26 percent overall reduction in the risk of cancer recurrence. The findings confirm the predictions of a mathematical model developed in the1980s that suggested the value of increased dose density, which was the impetus for the study.
NCI Press Officer | EurekAlert!
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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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