Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: May 24

Today's breast cancer news is all about personalized medicine. The stories address patient access to medical records, a test to identify the best treatment options for DCIS patients and targeted, individual therapies in development.

Most patients prefer full access to their medical records

For personalized medicine to work, patients need access to their medical records to be able to make informed decisions. There has been some concern that providing such access will lead to increased patient anxiety.

According to a French study, most cancer patients who were given full access to their medical records said they were better able to understand and discuss their disease, without an increase in anxiety. About 70 percent of them said if given the choice, they would want full access again. However, a few did complain that the medical records were "too heavy to carry around." The authors caution that the patients in the study had early-stage cancer with a good prognosis. The conclusions about anxiety levels may not apply to others.

OncotypeDX reveals which DCIS patients will benefit from radiation

Personalized medicine relies upon testing to determine the individual characteristics of a cancer and the risks and benefits of various treatment options.

Today, Genomic Health announced positive preliminary results of a study of its OncotypeDX test for predicting risk of local recurrence for DCIS patients. The preliminary results suggest that the test may be used to identify DCIS patients who may be treated with surgery alone and those who would benefit from radiation after surgery. Complete data will be presented at the 2011 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December. The OncotypeDX DCIS Score is expected to be available to patients and physicians by the end of the year.

The "next wave of cancer therapy" is to match treatments to patients

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) released summaries of more than 4,000 clinical trials which will be presented at its annual meeting next month. According to a Reuters story, the "next wave of cancer therapy is focused on better ways of matching medicines to patients. . ." Dr. George Sledge, the president of the ASCO, said there is a shift towards "treating cancers based on their molecular and genetic characteristics."

At LATESTBreastCancer.com, we understand that personalized medicine is the wave of the future. Our site is designed to provide access to the very latest news and research on all breast cancer test and treatment options, so patients are able to make informed decisions. Subscribers may tailor their research to their individual pathology reports and diagnoses.

We'll continue to follow breast cancer research developments and keep you posted.

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