The study found that gene tests on tumour samples were able to identify women who could safely skip chemotherapy and take only a drug that blocks the hormone estrogen or stops the body from making it.
The experiment led to "complete durable regression" of the cancer that had spread to Judy Perkins' liver, the team said, writing in the journal Nature Medicine. "Breast cancer used to be that deadly disease that women were afraid of and they wanted everything done so they can actually survive".
"I think this is a very significant advance", said Dr Larry Norton, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in NY.
While chemo can be greatly helpful to some patients, it has a significant number of drawbacks and serious side effects. Today, she said, she has a "few spots" in her left lung that Rosenberg believes may be scar tissue.
The breast cancer epicemic can not be reversed without considering women's exposure to chemical cocktails throughout their lives, argued Professor Andreas Kortenkamp of the University of London, presenting new scientific evidence to the European Parliament.
But before this study came out, many people in this group were prescribed chemotherapy because doctors had, based on the best information available, assumed it would help them. Instead, doctors say the only treatment necessary is surgery and hormone therapy.
So far, the researchers have treated 40 patients, all with types of tumors that account for 80 percent of cancer deaths, according to Rosenberg.
Ahmed Elkhanany, MD, a Roswell Park clinical fellow, is lead author and Kazuaki Takabe, MD, PhD, FACS, Alfiero Foundation Endowed Chair in Breast Oncology, is senior author of the study, "Racial disparity in breast cancer immune microenvironment" (abstract 1081), to be presented in a poster session on Saturday, June 2, from 8 a.m.to 11:30 a.m. CDT in McCormick Place, Poster Hall A.
In addition to having their tumors removed, the women in the study underwent a genetic test called Oncotype DX, manufactured by California-based Genomic Health.
Breast cancer appears due to an uncontrolled growth on the breasts. Kymriah, for young patients with a type of blood and bone marrow cancer, was initially costed at almost half a million USA dollars per treatment.
According to a new U.S. study, after the tumor has been removed from the breast, chemotherapy would only be needed in 20% of cases for patients suffering of breast cancer.
"Oncologists have been getting much smarter about dialing back treatment so that it doesn't do more harm than good", Steven Katz, a University of MI researcher who examines medical decisionmaking, told The Washington Post.
The treatment is not only expensive but physically demanding and several other patients in the clinical trial died during treatment, including several who succumbed to side effects.
"About one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime". There is still a long way to go, he said, but it's an approach that isn't specific to a certain cancer type, meaning it could evolve into an effective therapy for many forms of the disease, he said. "If we are going to take a step back" from chemotherapy, he said, "we really had to be sure".
Olufunmilayo Olopade, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic at University of Chicago, said the study helps move forward the push for precision medicine - a philosophy of treating patients with the right medicine for their exact problems at a defined time.