Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Don't Write Off High-Dose Chemotherapy With Bone Marrow Transplant For Breast Cancer, Experts Say

Date:
May 23, 2000
Source:
NIH -- National Cancer Institute
Summary:
High-dose chemotherapy with bone marrow transplant may still prove to be a viable option for some breast cancer patients and needs to be tested in ongoing clinical trials, according to leading researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and elsewhere.

High-dose chemotherapy with bone marrow transplant may still prove to be a viable option for some breast cancer patients and needs to be tested in ongoing clinical trials, according to leading researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and elsewhere.

Related Articles


In an open letter to physicians -- members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) -- NCI Director Richard Klausner, M.D., urged them not to dismiss bone marrow transplant clinical trials as an option for their breast cancer patients. He said that although preliminary results from some transplant trials have been disappointing, they cannot be generalized to all patients and, contrary to the impression created by some reports, they have not resolved the questions about transplantation.

"The largest NCI-sponsored trial is still open but is in dire need of your support," Klausner wrote in the letter, released at ASCO's annual meeting, May 19-23 in New Orleans. This trial, designated S9623, is testing high-dose chemotherapy with transplant in patients with less advanced disease than those in earlier trials. "Importantly, this trial tests the question in a different subset of patients than did prior NCI-sponsored trials, and, accordingly, the preliminary results of these earlier trials may not be applicable to this subset."

Debate about bone marrow transplantation for breast cancer has intensified in the past year, following preliminary reports that the rigorous and costly regimen did not prove superior to standard-dose chemotherapy in several large trials. Enrollment in trials fell in the wake of negative news reports and controversy in the oncology community.

"Emotions regarding transplant continue to run high," Klausner wrote. "The question has been hotly debated in courtrooms, in legislatures, and especially in the media." Most experts believe that the question can be resolved only through data obtained from ongoing clinical trials.

Despite the controversy, most women would be willing to consider the therapy and to enroll in a clinical trial, according to a new survey by NCI and the National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO). The survey included a nationally representative sample of 925 women ages 35-74.

More than 75 percent of the women who had heard of high-dose chemotherapy with transplant said they would be either very likely (50 percent) or somewhat likely (28 percent) to consider this form of treatment if faced with a decision about breast cancer treatment. The majority of those favorably disposed toward transplant said they would consider enrolling in a clinical trial of high-dose chemotherapy with transplant.

"The survey results show that women have not written off transplant as an option, said Amy S. Langer, executive director of NABCO and herself a 14-year breast cancer survivor. NABCO is a leading non-profit U.S. information and education resource on breast cancer.

"However," she added, "in the past, most women with aggressive or advanced breast cancer who turned to bone marrow transplant as their best hope chose the treatment with little information about its efficacy. Only by completing the remaining transplant trials will we be able to offer sound guidance about which treatments work best and permit tomorrow's patients to make choices based on fact, rather than emotion."

Other leaders in oncology have also urged continued study of this treatment. In an editorial published several days ago in Cancer Investigation, Scott Bearman, M.D., warned against sweeping conclusions that high-dose chemotherapy with transplant does not work. "Many more trials will be required before a consensus about the value of dose intensity for breast cancer emerges," said Bearman, a leading oncologist at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, and principal investigator of S9623.

Many patient advocacy organizations have taken similar positions. "It would be shortsighted to close the door on all transplant trials for breast cancer based on the information we have right now," said Susan Braun, president and chief executive officer of The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

NCI's current trial, S9623, continues to be offered to breast cancer patients who have four or more lymph nodes positive for cancer and who are at high risk of recurrence. Women are randomized to one of two high-dose regimens -- high-dose chemotherapy with transplant or high-dose chemotherapy with granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) to stimulate white blood cell production.

"This is the largest U.S. trial looking at transplant in women with less advanced disease," said Jeff Abrams, M.D., who coordinates breast cancer trials for the NCI's Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. "The hypothesis that a transplant may benefit certain groups of patients is still very much an open question. One of our best shots at improved treatment for certain stages of breast cancer is to complete this trial."

A copy of Dr. Klausner's letter and more information on S9623 and the NCI/NABCO survey are available through NCI's Web site for clinical trials, http://cancertrials.nci.nih.gov. Or call the NCI press office at 301-496-6641.

To contact NABCO, call 888-80-NABCO, or visit NABCO's Web site at http://www.nabco.org.

To contact the Komen Foundation, call 800-462-9273 or visit its Web site at http://www.komen.org.

# # #

For more information about cancer, visit NCI's Web site at http://www.cancer.gov.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NIH -- National Cancer Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NIH -- National Cancer Institute. "Don't Write Off High-Dose Chemotherapy With Bone Marrow Transplant For Breast Cancer, Experts Say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000522082037.htm>.
NIH -- National Cancer Institute. (2000, May 23). Don't Write Off High-Dose Chemotherapy With Bone Marrow Transplant For Breast Cancer, Experts Say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000522082037.htm
NIH -- National Cancer Institute. "Don't Write Off High-Dose Chemotherapy With Bone Marrow Transplant For Breast Cancer, Experts Say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/05/000522082037.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins