Breast cancer treatments evaluated

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breast cancerTORONTO -- Common breast cancer chemotherapy regimes are inferior at preventing the disease from coming back, Canadian researchers have discovered.

Widely-used breast cancer chemotherapy treatment known as AC/T is not as effective at preventing a recurrence of the disease as another commonly-used treatment regime called CEF.

Researchers also found that AC/T was less effective at preventing breast cancer from recurring than a new experimental treatment regime called EC/T.

DEVELOPED IN CANADA

The CEF regime was developed in Canada.

"Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in North America," said Dr. Margot Burnell, one of two lead researchers on the study.

"This clinical trial may change the way many of them are treated in the future."

Dr. Barbara Whylie, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, says, "We're delighted that these results will lead to better care for women with breast cancer. We eagerly await the final results of this study to see what effect these chemotherapy treatments have on the long-term survival of breast cancer patients.

The clinical trial followed 2,104 women in Canada and the United States, all under the age of 60, who had been diagnosed with lymph node-positive or high-risk, node-negative breast cancer.

The women, who were either pre-menopausal or early post-menopausal, underwent breast surgery before receiving the chemotherapy.

30-MONTH SURVEY

After tracking half of the patients for at least 30 months, the study found that about 5% more women on AC/T had their cancer come back than women on CEF or EC/T.

The three-year recurrence-free survival rate was 85% for the patients on AC/T, compared to 90.1% for patients on CEF and 89.5% for those on EC/T.

About 40% of women with breast cancer in North America are under the age of 60.

source - Edmonton Sun

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