NEWS & MEDIA

Publish Date: 
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 12:30

MATER RESEARCHER IDENTIFIES NEW INSIGHTS INTO BREAST CANCER TREATMENTS AND PROGNOSIS

A Mater Research study1 has identified a method to identify best treatment options for oestrogen receptor positive breast cancer patients following surgery and also to better predict prognosis.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology, found that aromatase inhibitors may be a more effective treatment for patients with oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) HER2 breast cancer than using tamoxifen.  It also found that testing lymph node metastases for progesterone receptor (PR) was more accurate at predicting prognosis than testing the primary tumour.

Lead author and Betty McGrath Fellowship awardee Dr Cameron Snell said that following breast cancer removal, analysis of the tumour provided the biggest influence on how a patient is treated.

“Tumour characterisation allows oncologists to determine if a patient is likely to respond to a particular therapy or not,” Dr Snell said.

“Most patients with breast cancer are treated with endocrine therapy but not all patients respond to this treatment.

“The tools we have at the moment are quite crude so we are looking at better ways to predict a patient’s response to endocrine treatment and to identify patients who may relapse.

“We found that for patients with ER+, HER2 breast cancer who had no PR expression in the lymph node metastases, that aromatase inhibitors may be a more effective endocrine treatment than tamoxifen.”

“We are really moving towards tailoring patient treatments to their individual tumour to provide the most effective treatment for their cancer, rather than a one size fits all philosophy.”

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL STORY ON THE MATER WEBSITE

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