Breast cancer trial shows signs of hope for patients - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Breast cancer trial shows signs of hope for patients

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Some fantastic news in the fight against breast cancer. 

A long-awaited clinic trial is changing the way doctors are treating some patients. 

Now, women diagnosed in the early stages have more treatment options available to them. 

Now, treatment for some of these women may get easier and they might be able to skip chemotherapy all together.

“It’s definitely practice-changing,” said Dr. Camelia Lawrence, Director of Breast Surgery at Hartford Healthcare.

Lawrence knows all too well about this clinical trial that hundreds of women with early stages of breast cancer participated in. 

In the trial, more than 6,700 patients were split into two groups. One received just hormone therapy and the other received hormone therapy with chemotherapy.

Researchers found that more on 83 percent of the women using hormone therapy alone had not developed a recurrence or additional primary cancer.

The rate that women who had also received chemotherapy was more than 84 percent, a statistically insignificant difference.

The study applies to estrogen sensitive women with early stage tumors, below 5 centimeters, that have not spread to the lymph nodes. 

They found these women may benefit from surgery and hormone therapy and may not have to go through chemotherapy treatments. 

“It is a big deal for patients because we often get in patients who prefer not to have chemotherapy so as profilers, we have more confidence and more information at hand to say while you risk is similar with and without chemotherapy thus we can't omit chemotherapy,” said Lawrence.

The study is the largest ever done of breast cancer treatment, and could spare up to 70,000 patients a year from going through chemo.

The study was published over the women in the "New England Journal of Medicine” over the weekend.

If you are battling the disease, Hartford Healthcare is offering a free class this Wednesday called "Surviving Breast Cancer.”

To sign up for the class, click here.

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