"By stratifying these breast cancer patients [by risk] and finding that only those with the highest risk of recurrence need to have chemotherapy based on their tumor genetics, TAILORx shows great potential to ensure more gentle treatment without compromising its effectiveness", Purushotham told Live Science.
"You shouldn't do chemo unless you have to", added Dr. Jack Jacoub, medical oncologist and medical director at the MemorialCare Cancer Institute at the Orange Coast Medical Center in California.
The new approach - a modified version of a technique known as adoptive cell transfer (ACT) - is being developed by researchers at the National Cancer Institute in the U.S., and involves sequencing the DNA and RNA of tumours to try to identify mutations that were unique to her specific cancer. "With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years".
Across the European Union, we have seen positive results for breast cancer care as more women are being diagnosed and treated earlier, leading to higher survival rates.
Patients with a recurrence score of up to ten out of 100 have previously been shown not to benefit from chemotherapy and need only hormone treatment.
Another study presented at Sunday's conference found that Merck's immunotherapy drug Keytruda worked better than chemo as initial treatment for most people with the most common type of lung cancer, and with far fewer side effects, noted USA Today.
However, these are the results from a single patient and much larger trials will be needed to confirm the findings. For the past several years, cancer care has been evolving away from chemotherapy - older drugs with harsh side effects - in favor of gene-targeting therapies, hormone blockers and immune system treatments.
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The study found that for participants with gene test scores between 11 and 25 - especially among women ages 50 to 75 - there was no significant difference between the chemotherapy and no chemotherapy groups.
"I, as an oncologist on Monday in clinic, will offer less chemotherapy that will not be of benefit to patients and that is very reassuring to know that when I am offering patients chemotherapy they are likely to benefit from it".
To find the answer, researchers randomly assigned more than 6,700 women with intermediate scores - 11 to 25 - to two groups. "It was all gone", she said.
The study involved a phase III clinical trial involving more than 10,000 women.
Thousands of women now have that option thanks to a recent study revealing chemo isn't the only way to go.
Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women in the world, and hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative, node-negative cancer constitutes about half of the 1.7 million cases diagnosed yearly worldwide. For patients with scores above 26, doctors always recommend chemotherapy.
"Oncologists have been getting much smarter about dialing back treatment so that it doesn't do more harm than good", Steven Katz, a University of MI researcher who examines medical decision-making, told the Washington Post.
For the treatment, doctors cut small tissues from Perkins' tumours to figure out the mutations specific to her cancer.