Breast cancer treatment without chemotherapy

NOW: Breast cancer treatment without chemotherapy

There are new guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncologists that say the MammaPrint should be strongly considered for women with early stage breast cancer but may not be useful in all circumstances.

The ASCO recommends it now as a standard screening to really help doctors have a better understanding of what treatment plan may be best.

MammaPrint is a genomic test or a gene test that we use for predictive diagnostic testing for early-stage breast cancer.

It's used to assess the risk of the tumor metastisizing to other parts of the body, and it basically gives doctors two risk classifications;- high or low, based on the Amsterdam 70-gene breast cancer criteria.

It was actually approved by the FDA about 10 years ago. Aurora Healthcare has been using it for some time on patients.

The test uses the genetic characteristics of the tumor and compares them with other similar tumors  and tells doctors if a patient should be recommended for treatments like chemotherapy or possibly less toxic treatments.

There are advantages to avoiding the highly toxic treatment to kill the cancer cells, since it also can be very tough on the body and immune system.

Chemo patients lose their hair and become weaker.

Doctors would like to avoid these symptoms and still treat the cancer effectively.

Genetic testing is a growing area in a more personalized treatment method. 

Earlier this year, Aurora Cancer Care launched its precision medicine clinic at Aurora St. Luke’s.

They are building a team of research oncologist and partnering with other health care systems across the nation to look at the genetic makeup of different types of cancers, and then developing customized treatment plans for it.

You can watch more about precision medicine by clicking here

Dr. John Maul will be a special live guest Friday on the CBS 58 News at 4.

To read a recent article he wrote on MammaPrint click here

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