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.

Related Articles


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 March 28, 2015 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 March 28, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

These Popular Antibiotics Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Newsy (Mar. 27, 2015) — A popular class of antibiotic can leave patients in severe pain and even result in permanent nerve damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

House Ready to Pass Medicare Doc Bill

AP (Mar. 26, 2015) — In rare bipartisan harmony, congressional leaders pushed a $214 billion bill permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts toward House passage Thursday, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years. (March 26) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

What's Different About This Latest Ebola Vaccine

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — A whole virus Ebola vaccine has been shown to protect monkeys exposed to the virus. Here&apos;s what&apos;s different about this vaccine. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

HIV Outbreak Prompts Public Health Emergency In Indiana

Newsy (Mar. 26, 2015) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence says he will bring additional state resources to help stop the epidemic. 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