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New treatment for breast cancer


The Gipuzkoa Cancer Institute and the Donostia-San Sebastian General Hospital have taken the first step to substitute traditional chemotherapy for breast cancer cases with a novel treatment. This new treatment is less aggressive and, thus, does not produce alopecia. From May, the two centres will test the efficacy of the new oral medicine, capecitabine.

The project involves women who have had breast cancer operations and who have been diagnosed with ganglions in the axilas. These women follow a polychemotherapy treatment, i.e. various medications. Capecitabine, already used for patients with cancer of the colon, may substitute for one of these medicines which are currently given by injection.

Better quality of life

One of the aims of the study is to find out the toxicity of the treatment in the long term and to enhance the patient’s quality of life. This treatment will be more user-friendly to administer as it can be taken at home. The current treatment is provided by injections. However, this medicine only substitutes part of the treatment for the patients. If its efficacy is demonstrated, the rest of the medicines should be taken by injections.

In the research, apart from the Gipuzkoa Cancer Institute and the Donostia-San Sebastian General Hospital, some sixty Spanish centres and a total of 1,500 women are participating. The length of the treatment is 28 weeks and the results will be known within 4 years.

Garazi Andonegi | Basque research
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