Reducing the Odds of Breast Cancer

Molecular abnormalities almost double risk of recurrence, researchers find

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

En Español

TUESDAY, May 11, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Doctors have found a molecular indicator in breast cancer tumor cells that could become a reliable way of predicting whether cancer will recur in a patient.

A specific pattern of molecular abnormalities in the cells appears to almost double the risk of a patient suffering cancer again, says a study published in the May issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

The study involved the examination of a decade's worth of tumor samples, collected from patients who underwent cancer surgery between 1990 and 2001.

The researchers hope that by finding a way to predict the long-term risk of cancer recurrence, they will reduce the number of women who have to go through adjuvant chemotherapy. Adjuvant therapy is a follow-up measure done after the main procedure to make sure all microscopic traces of cancer in the body are eradicated.

"The ability to identify patients who are at such a low risk of recurrence that they can safely forego the discomfort and potential complications of adjuvant therapy would be a major breakthrough," study co-author Dr. Thomas Julian, associate director of the Breast Care Center at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, said in a prepared statement.

More information

The National Institutes of Health have more about adjuvant chemotherapy.

SOURCES: West Penn Allegheny Health System, news release, May 7, 2004


Last Updated:

Related Articles