Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Re-analysis of large trials shows greatest benefit of chemotherapy in ER-negative tumors

13.12.2004


Despite the common belief in the oncology community that cancer research and treatment have focused on breast tumors that are estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, a researcher from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center maintains that clinicians have made "enormous strides" in treating patients with tumors that are ER-negative.



In a presentation at the annual meeting of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, Donald Berry, Ph.D., a professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Applied Mathematics, looked at decades of breast cancer clinical trial experience and found that "the benefit of chemotherapy advances over the last 20 years to ER-negative patients has been surprisingly dramatic."

In examining the impact of chemotherapy treatment of node-positive breast cancer in three national clinical trials, which enrolled more than 6,000 patients cumulatively, Berry found that chemotherapy has reduced the risk of death in ER-negative patients by 56 percent. "The absolute benefit has been similarly impressive, especially in comparison with the corresponding absolute benefit of chemotherapy to ER-positive patients," he says.


The studies, conducted by the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) and the U.S. Breast Intergroup, all tested different chemotherapy regimens and doses in women whose cancer had spread to their lymph nodes, and all three showed statistically significant results. But, patients were treated "irrespective of hormone sensitivities or whether they had received tamoxifen or not," Berry says. In women who are ER-positive, tamoxifen and other SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators) have been shown to help prevent cancer development or recurrence.

The impact of such preventive treatments, however, was not "weighted" in these trials, he says. "People accept and act as though chemotherapy is equally beneficial independent of ER status," he says. In his analysis, Berry found that all three studies show that chemotherapy provided a statistically significant benefit for patients with ER-negative tumors, but "only a little bit of an effect for ER-positive tumors that had been treated with tamoxifen, and none of the trials showed a statistically significant benefit for higher doses of chemotherapy in ER-positive patients."

Berry says that the results will likely surprise oncologists "because everyone has assumed that ER status doesn’t matter in chemotherapy treatment, but here we show it does." That doesn’t mean, however, that patients with ER-positive tumors should not receive chemotherapy, Berry warns.

He adds that the study proves that breast cancer patients of both hormonal types are being aided by clinical advances. "The prevailing wisdom has been that science has focused on ER-positive tumors, with development of SERMs and now aromatase inhibitors, but ER-negative patients have been left in the lurch," Berry says. "Not so. This analysis demonstrates that chemotherapy use has more than doubled survival rates in women with ER-negative tumors."

Nancy Jensen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mdanderson.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Purdue cancer identity technology makes it easier to find a tumor's 'address'

16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine

Good preparation is half the digestion

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Microscope measures muscle weakness

16.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>