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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid