After nine years, 94 percent of both groups were still alive - and about 84 percent were alive without signs of cancer, indicating that the chemo made no difference.
A leading oncologist said the findings will lead to a "fundamental change" in how the disease is treated. You have got a great prognosis and chemotherapy won't help.
The TAILORx trial shows that only 30% of women with this particular form of early-stage breast cancer derive any benefit from the treatment.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute have put a patient with metastatic breast cancer into complete remission using a new approach to immunotherapy.
When she was selected for the trial in 2015, the Florida woman "had tennis ball-sized tumours in her liver and secondary cancers throughout her body".
The TAILORx trial used the Oncotype DX test, now available on the NHS, which allows doctors to predict the likelihood of the breast cancer returning.
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You'd think if a patient diagnosed with breast cancer had the option of undergoing chemotherapy or safely going without it, the answer would be obvious. "With all the side effects that chemotherapy has, if there's any way it can be avoided, if it's not necessary, you don't want to give it, you don't want to take it", Yost said.
The study, led by the Montefiore Medical Centre in NY, found women older than 50 with this form of breast cancer and a score of up to 25 did not need chemotherapy. "It looks at all 21 of those answers and gives that cancer a recurrent score between 0 and 100".
"Many women with breast cancer will be able to be spared unnecessary chemotherapy", said Dr. Erna Busch-Devereaux, a breast surgeon at Northwell Health's Huntington Hospital, in Huntington, N.Y. It's called the Oncotype DX test.
Those who score low on the test - from zero to 10 - are already told to skip chemotherapy after their tumours are removed and they receive hormone therapy. She hadn't felt any lumps or symptoms and had no family history of breast cancer before the diagnosis, she said. The disease returned 10 years later, creating tumours throughout her liver and chest. The most common chemotherapeutic regimens used to treat women in the dual, chemoendocrine therapy group were either a docetaxel-cyclophosphamide regimen or anthracycline-containing regimens.
That could affect up to 70,000 women a year in the United States of America and thousands more around the world, the study said.
The study was funded in part by the proceeds from sales of the breast cancer postage stamp. "Women with a higher recurrent score, there's some doubt about whether these results are fully implementable in the women under 50, just because it's a different hormone environment, and they haven't yet gone through menopause and it may be that the chemotherapy helps to bring about a change in their hormone environment", Prof Sanchia Aranda, CEO of Cancer Council Australia, explained in an interview with Starts at 60.
"Oncologists have been getting much smarter about dialing back treatment so that it doesn't do more harm than good", said Steven Katz, a University of MI researcher who examines medical decision-making.