Chemoradiotherapy before surgery may extend lives of pancreatic cancer patients

Pancreatic cancer patients could live more than twice as long if given chemotherapy and radiation treatment before surgery

Pancreatic cancer patients could live more than twice as long if given chemotherapy and radiation treatment before surgery

Women are given scores based on this test, classifying them as being either at high risk of recurrence, intermediate risk, or low risk.

The study affects many women who have the most common type of early-stage breast cancer, according to WRAL's Dr. Allen Mask.

Dr Epstein, a clinical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in NY, said the two studies show "the anti-inflammatory benefits of a relatively cheap, well-tolerated supplement".

"70% of women with the most common form of early stage breast cancer could be treated safely with just surgery and hormone therapy."
Most women in this situation don't need treatment beyond surgery and hormone therapy, he said. He said "Oncologists have been waiting for these results, it will affect practice on Monday morning". It revealed more information about how to treat patients with early-stage breast cancer. "It's a great news story".

However, some benefit of chemotherapy was found in some of the women aged 50 years or younger with a recurrence score of 16-25. "This life-changing breakthrough is absolutely wonderful news as it could liberate thousands of women from the agony of chemotherapy".

Dr. David Chang, a pancreatic cancer surgeon from the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: "The main conclusion from this study is that giving patients chemotherapy and chemoradiation prior to surgery may yield a better long-term outcome than surgery upfront".

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There was no significant difference in the number of serious side effects experienced between the two groups of patients, the researchers said.

The results of the trial suggest that up to 85 percent of women with early breast cancer can be spared chemotherapy - especially those over 50 years of age. Oncotype DX costs around $4,000, which Medicare and many insurers cover. Many women think "if I don't get chemotherapy I'm going to die, and if I get chemo I'm going to be cured", but the results show there's a sliding scale of benefit and sometimes none, he said.

The study was extensive so patients who fit in this new category should be very confident with their course of treatment, even if it's without chemotherapy.

Dr. Jennifer Litton at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, agreed, but said, "Risk to one person is not the same thing as risk to another". Other folks need chemo for the tiniest possibility of advantage.

"I was a little relieved". The treatments "weren't pleasant", she concedes.

She says without this new research, all she could do was follow her doctors' recommendations. "I'm a firm believer in medical research".

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