Precision Medicine In Breast Cancer Not Quite Precise

A key research was conducted on the optimal procedure for the treatment of early-stage breast cancer. The research suggested that ‘precision medicine’ does not provide clear solutions to the way best therapy can be opted. David Hunter, a Professor of Cancer Prevention at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, explained that precision does not imply assurance.

This point was put across in an extensive research, which the New England Journal of Medicine published on Wednesday. The study also involved decisions regarding chemotherapy. In majority of the cases, it has been found that the treatment is well responded by breast cancer when the illness is detected in its early stages prior to getting spread across the body.

This creates a mystery, which is similar for doctors and patients, according to the lead author of the study, Dr. Fatima Cardoso, a Breast Cancer Specialist at the Champalimaud Clinical Center in Lisbon, Portugal. She added that being the sole chance of getting cured, doctors tend to treat females suffering from early-stage breast cancer. She further stated that it is known that these females do get over-treated.

This implies that females might eventually undo the chemotherapy despite it not being helpful in enhancing the chances of survival. In an effort to improve the treatment decision, an enormous research was organized with assistance from Cardoso across the entire Europe. The aim was to understand if MammaPrint, a commercially available genetic test, was capable of alleviating overtreatment.

The research involved participation by over 6,600 women at 112 institutions across nine nations. The participants were randomly decided for having chemotherapy or not. “You know that chemotherapy is a treatment that scares people, so overall and for the majority of patients, it was not difficult to convince them”, said Cardoso. The genomic test was quite good with the prediction of low revival risk of breast cancer.