Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Shows Substantial Survival Gains From Standard Breast Cancer Treatments

Date:
May 13, 2005
Source:
University Of Oxford
Summary:
The types of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy that have long been used to help prevent breast cancer recurrence have much greater effects on 15-year than on 5-year survival, according to a study involving researchers from Oxford's Clinical Trial Service Unit and published in this week's issue of The Lancet.

A female cancer patient receiving chemotherapy drugs from a syringe.
Credit: Sam Ogden/SPL

The types of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy that have long been used to help prevent breast cancer recurrence have much greater effects on 15-year than on 5-year survival, according to a study involving researchers from Oxford's Clinical Trial Service Unit and published in this week's issue of The Lancet. This is one of the main reasons why breast cancer death rates have been falling rapidly ever since the early 1990s in the UK and USA.

In early breast cancer, surgery (or surgery and radiotherapy) can appear to remove all traces of the disease, but undetected deposits of cancer cells may remain that could, over the next 5, 10 or 15 years, develop into a life-threatening recurrence. Chemotherapy and/or hormonal therapy are often given as additional treatments in early breast cancer to help prevent recurrence, and can improve 5-year survival.

The Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group coordinated the world's largest collaborative analysis of cancer trials, bringing together data from 145,000 women with early breast cancer in 194 randomised trials. The study includes information on various treatments that were being tested in the 1980s, and have since been widely used, such as 6 months of anthracycline-based chemotherapy (in which an anthracycline is combined with two older drugs, fluorouracil and cyclophosphamide) and 5 years of tamoxifen.

The investigators found that where both chemotherapy and hormonal therapy are appropriate they can approximately halve the 15-year risk of death from breast cancer. For example, if a 50-year-old women had a one in 5 risk of dying from her hormone-sensitive breast cancer, then this risk could be halved, to about one in 10. For middle-aged women with breast cancer, 6 months of anthracycline-based chemotherapy reduces the breast cancer death rate over the next 10 or 15 years by about one third. For women of any age with hormone-sensitive early breast cancer, the commonest form of the disease, 5 years of tamoxifen also reduces the breast cancer death rate over the next 10 or 15 years by about one third. For middle-aged women with hormone-sensitive disease, a combination of both of these treatments halves the breast cancer death rate. The researchers note that while chemotherapy and tamoxifen can have unpleasant short-term side-effects, any long-term side effects are much smaller than the long-term survival benefits.

Professor Sarah Darby of the CTSU, who helped coordinate the collaboration, said: 'For middle-aged women with hormone-sensitive breast cancer, six months of anthracycline-based chemotherapy and five years of tamoxifen halves the long-term risk of death from the disease. Such treatments have been used widely for several years and were endorsed by a US consensus panel in 2001. Although newer treatments are now gaining favour, the eventual long-term benefits from older treatments such as these are one of the main reasons why breast cancer mortality rates are now falling rapidly in countries such as the UK or USA.'

She added: 'This is the largest analysis of randomised evidence ever done in any type of cancer. Because so many women in previous decades agreed to join these randomised trials, millions of women in future decades will benefit.'


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Oxford. "Study Shows Substantial Survival Gains From Standard Breast Cancer Treatments." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050513102615.htm>.
University Of Oxford. (2005, May 13). Study Shows Substantial Survival Gains From Standard Breast Cancer Treatments. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050513102615.htm
University Of Oxford. "Study Shows Substantial Survival Gains From Standard Breast Cancer Treatments." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050513102615.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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