News / Health

Breast Cancer Patient's Genetic Profile Guides Treatment Options

Testing for breast cancer
Testing for breast cancer
TEXT SIZE - +
Vidushi Sinha

A new study finds that a breast cancer patient's genetic information can help doctors determine whether chemotherapy will be effective in combating this form of cancer, which annually kills millions of women worldwide. We have more on what experts are calling the "crystal ball" of breast cancer treatment.

Choosing between effective treatment and preventative surgery is a key decision in fighting off breast cancer.  The new study concludes that genetic information on a cancer patient can confirm if chemotherapy is the best way to go.  Genetic information is already widely used to help guide breast cancer care in terms of better prediction and prevention.

Sandra Cohen lived with great anxiety about getting breast cancer because her mother and grandmother died of the disease.  But thanks to genetic testing, she and her doctor were able to make a decision to undergo preventative surgery. She says she feels much better now and recommends genetic testing to others with a similar medical history.

“Go out and get the information do some research with a genetic counselor, meet other women who have gone through it, and it really will empower you and give you the strength to take some action," said Cohen.

Now, scientists at Nuvera Biosciences, a private U.S. research company, say that a test they've developed can tell doctors whether or not standard chemotherapy treatment will improve a patient's chances of survival.  If they can rule out chemo, they can quickly turn to alternative strategies.

The study looked at breast cancer treatment response and survival for women with newly diagnosed, invasive breast cancer. The data was based on tumor samples taken from 310 patients who were treated with two chemotherapy drugs.

Researchers say the patient's genetic information provided a reliable way to predict which tumor was really sensitive to chemotherapy and which tumor was resistant to chemo.

Dr. Charis Eng, who did not take part in the study, is a cancer researcher.

“Prediction is always a good thing, because when you can predict accurately, you can pre-empt," said Eng. "So, let’s say this 'crystal ball' says this person is not going to do well after standard treatment for early breast cancer. That would make their physicians much more vigilant, trying to catch things that come back very, very early or to even give very aggressive treatment.”

Researchers agree that this kind of testing can prevent patients from being treated with drugs that their bodies will not respond to and could lead to a more personalized medicine.

Experts say genetic testing also cuts health care costs and allows doctors to attack malignant tumors without losing precious time.

The study's authors say more research is needed, but they believe their finding adds to the arsenal in the fight against breast cancer.

You May Like

Analysts Warn of Regional Proxy Conflict in Afghanistan

Analysts warn if Kabul’s neighbors do not start to cooperate, competing desires for influence could deteriorate into a bloody proxy war in the country More

Saudi Intelligence Chief Replaced

Bandar bin Sultan came under criticism for supporting al Qaida, prompting King Abdallah to wrest Syria operations away from him in February, handing them to Interior Minister Prince Mohammed bin Nayef More

Poetry Magazine editor Don Share talks what makes a good poem with VOA's David Byrd

What makes a good poem? And is poetry as viable an art form as it once was? To find out, VOA's David Byrd spoke to Don Share, the editor of Poetry Magazine. More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid