Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What should be the goal of treatment in metastatic breast cancer? Patients and doctors differ in their views

Date:
March 24, 2010
Source:
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Summary:
Many patients with metastatic breast cancer believe that the primary goal in survival with new treatment should be to prolong life by at least a year over the survival they might expect from using current best therapies, Canadian researchers have found. However, there is a very different perception among doctors, who consider that an additional four to six months' survival is significant enough to consider a new treatment worthwhile.

Many patients with metastatic breast cancer believe that the primary goal in survival with new treatment should be to prolong life by at least a year over the survival they might expect from using current best therapies, a researcher told the seventh European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC7) in Barcelona. This finding contrasts with doctors' perception that an additional four to six months' survival is significant enough to consider a new treatment worthwhile.

Dr. Amir Sheik-Yousouf, a resident physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of Toronto, Canada, working under the supervision of Dr. Sunil Verma, Chair of Breast Medical Oncology at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre, Toronto, set out to look at what patients and doctors thought were the most important endpoints in incurable metastatic breast cancer, and what degree of benefit from their treatment should be considered to be important. The researchers say that, to their knowledge, this is the first time that the views of these two groups on such a question have been studied.

"We found that patients and doctors held very different views," says Dr. Sheik-Yousouf. "Our research shows that it is essential to have a thorough discussion of treatment goals with patients -- they expect a lot from the new therapies that are being developed but need also to understand that many of them are associated with only marginal improvements in survival."

The researchers surveyed 28 breast oncologists and 52 patients with metastatic breast cancer. Among the doctors, 52% believed that overall survival was the most important endpoint to be considered when choosing a treatment, and 48% believed that the most important outcome would be progression-free survival; 48% thought that that the minimum meaningful improvement in overall survival was four to six months, and 44% believed that a two to four month improvement in survival was meaningful.

Sixty percent of the oncologists surveyed believed that their patients also considered an improvement in overall survival to be the most important endpoint. The patients agreed, with 88% feeling that the primary goal of their treatment was to prolong life. However, when it came to the length of time of that survival, major differences with the doctors emerged, with 46% of patients thinking that only more than 12 months additional survival would make taking a treatment worthwhile for them; 17% thought that an extra 10-12 months would be acceptable, and only 10% thought that one to two months additional survival would be the minimal acceptable improvement.

Sixty-three percent of patients also believed that slowing tumour growth was a goal of treatment, and shrinking tumour burden and improving quality of life were also important to 62% of them; 17% thought shrinking tumour size was the most important goal of treatment. Fifty percent felt that improving symptoms and pain were other important therapeutic goals. Among the doctors, 36% believed that, after overall survival, overall quality of life would be the second most important factor to patients with metastatic breast cancer.

"This was only a small study and needs to be followed up on a larger scale," says Dr. Sheik-Yousouf. "However, the survey highlights major differences in the expectations of the outcome of treatment of metastatic breast cancer between oncologists and patients. We need not only to improve the way we discuss treatment options with patients, but also to ensure that clinical trials of new drugs are designed to meet the expectations of patients and doctors alike. We hope that by sharing the results of our study with our peers, industry, and government we may be able help them better develop new trials and guide their efforts in the approval and funding of new drugs for cancer."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. "What should be the goal of treatment in metastatic breast cancer? Patients and doctors differ in their views." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324085256.htm>.
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. (2010, March 24). What should be the goal of treatment in metastatic breast cancer? Patients and doctors differ in their views. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324085256.htm
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. "What should be the goal of treatment in metastatic breast cancer? Patients and doctors differ in their views." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324085256.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
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