New breast cancer research could change treatment plans - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

New breast cancer research could change treatment plans

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS, ILL. -- -

In the past, breast cancer patients diagnosed early took a gene test to find out if chemotherapy would reduce their risk of recurrence. 

Test results were in three categories: high risk for return, those who need chemo, low risk, those who didn't, and then a grey area in between. 

That's where this new research takes off. 

Inside every breast cancer diagnoses is a sub-type. 

There are those who are hormone receptor positive but HER-2 negative. 

This new study set out to bring a more personalized treatment plan to women who are in a grey area when it comes to needing chemo after surgery or not. 

10,000 women participated, many from Illinois Cancer Care in Peoria. 

"Nationally only 2 or 3 percent of people with cancer go into a study. We have hundreds of new drugs. We have many  of new sub divisions of cancer. Without people participating in research, it takes us 10-years, 15-years to get an answer instead of 5-years," said Dr. Michael Veeder an oncologist at  Illinois Cancer Care

What they found is considered a break-through. 

"Woman who are greater than 50 who have an Oncotype D-X score of 25 or less, which is the majority of woman, do not benefit from chemotherapy," said Dr. Veeder. 

That means more women can skip the nasty side effects that come with the toxic treatment. 

"You've had your surgery, you've had reconstruction, but now you might find you have to have chemo. That can have long term side effects," said Gayle Young, the Mission Director with the Susan G. Komen Memorial Affiliate. 

"It validates what we do. It says to those that support us, that we really are making an impact," said Young. 

If you weren't a patient in this study, chances are you're still involved.

"If you came out and have walked in The Race for the Cure you are a part of this study. The dollars you have raised went to research," said Young.

Breast cancer hasn't slowed down and early diagnoses could give you an advantage on the battlefield.

For more information click here. 
 

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