New immunotherapy approach brings promises for some cancer patients

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The woman has been cancer-free for two years, reported the US -based team, presenting their results as "a new immunotherapy approach" for the treatment of patients with a late-stage form of the disease.

This study helps clear up the women who score in between - and concludes that, in terms of a cancer recurrence, it makes no difference whether a woman who falls in the 11 to 25 range was given chemo or not.

Chicago: Countless breast cancer patients in the future will be spared millions of dollars of chemotherapy thanks in part to something that millions of Americans did that cost them just pennies: bought a postage stamp.

Phyllis Laccetti, a participant in the TailorX breast cancer study, at her home in Ossining, NY.

After the treatment, all of this patient's cancer disappeared and has not returned more than 22 months later. "It'll be great news for a lot of patients because they will get similar outcomes with less toxic treatment".

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The new approach - a modified version of a technique known as adoptive cell transfer (ACT) - is being developed by researchers at the National Cancer Institute in the USA, and involves sequencing the DNA and RNA of tumours to try to identify mutations that were unique to her specific cancer.

Women with cancer are given scores that come from genetic tests that analyze the tumors and look for the presence of 21 genes that have been associated with a high likelihood of recurrence.

The cancer in question is driven by hormones, has not spread to the lymph nodes and does not contain a protein called HER2. Dr Steven Rosenberg, chief of surgery at the National Cancer Institute said that this was the most "personalized" form of medicine that there is.

The results were published Monday in the scientific journal Nature Medicine.

Patients were randomly assigned to receive chemotherapy followed by hormonal therapy or hormone therapy alone.

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Doctors in the USA combined two different forms of immunotherapy after conventional hormone treatments and chemotherapy failed.

The test randomized women with intermediate risk, about 67 percent.

Dr Alistair Ring, consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden NHS Hospital, in London, said: "I think this is a fundamental change in the way we treat women with early-stage breast cancer and will lead to a considerable number of women no longer needing to have chemotherapy". "It was all gone", she said. They were then infused back into the patient. "I had a bucket-list of things I needed to do before the end, like going to the Grand Canyon", she added.

Dr. Joseph Sparano of Montefiore Medical Center in NY, lead author of the study says that the impact of this test could spare thousands of women from chemotherapy and for them surgery and hormone therapy could be sufficient. "Now we know there's no need to give chemotherapy to those patients anymore", Mitchell said.

This form of immunotherapy has frustratingly been inconsistent in early clinical trials, working well with some patients on certain cancers but proving less effective on others.

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This work showed "we are now at the cusp of a major revolution in finally realizing the elusive goal of being able to target the plethora of mutations in cancer through immunotherapy", he wrote.

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