Chemotherapy is frequently given to women with breast cancer after surgery to remove the main bulk of the tumour. A new Cochrane Systematic Review of existing data shows, however, that using chemotherapy to reduce the size of tumours before surgery does not compromise survival rates and enables women to retain better self-image and overall health because of the reduced impact of the surgery.
Cancer therapy depends on killing or removing cancerous cells as quickly as possible. Surgery involves either the removal of all breast tissue (mastectomy) or removal of just the tumour and immediate tissue (lumpectomy). Relative to mastectomy, lumpectomy reduces the scale of the surgery required, and improves self-image. Lumpectomy also has equal overall survival to mastectomy, however, this surgical option also results in a greater chance of the cancer reoccurring.
The longer the cancer cells are in the body, the more chance that a secondary cancer will develop. A logical approach, therefore, is to surgically remove as much of the tumour as possible as quickly as possible, and then use chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells. Although this management has improved survival for women significantly over the last twenty years, this approach also requires extensive surgery which can lead to added physical and psychological difficulties for many women.
A team of Cochrane Researchers therefore set out to assess the safety of giving chemotherapy before surgery. This approach reduces the amount of tissue that has to be removed, but carries the risk that tumour cells that are not killed by the chemotherapy may spread before the tumour can be surgically removed. The review identified 14 randomised controlled trials involving a total of 5,500 women.
Compared to postoperative chemotherapy, preoperative chemotherapy reduced the number of mastectomies performed thereby enabling women to undergo less extensive surgery. Women receiving treatment before surgery were also less likely to suffer from serious infections. There were, however, no differences between the two methods in the length of time that women were disease-free after treatment.
“Our review showed a decreased number of adverse effects associated with preoperative chemotherapy,” says lead researcher Mr Sven Mieog, who works at Leiden University Medical Center, in the Netherlands.
“It is important, however, to discuss with the patient the balance of breast conservative surgery between better quality of life and the slight increase in risk of local re-growth of the tumour, with the consequent need for further treatment,” he adds.
Jennifer Beal | alfa
Improving memory with magnets
28.03.2017 | McGill University
Graphene-based neural probes probe brain activity in high resolution
28.03.2017 | Graphene Flagship
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
28.03.2017 | Life Sciences
28.03.2017 | Information Technology
28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy