Surgery Before Drug Therapy Not Beneficial For Metastasized Breast Cancer

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New research shows that women with metastasized breast cancer do not benefit from undergoing surgery before receiving drug treatment.

This study was led by Florian Fitzal, Head of Breast Surgery at the Department of Surgery of MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital, and one of the two deputy heads of the Breast Health Center at the Comprehensive Cancer Centre (CCC) of MedUni Vienna and Vienna General Hospital.

When a woman is diagnosed with primary metastatic breast cancer, it means the cancer has been diagnosed at a late stage. A cure is not considered possible, but many women survive with the disease for several years. Therapeutic aims are generally to prolong patients’ lives, and improve their quality-of-life.

To enhance treatment modalities for these women, Fitzal and colleagues studied whether removing cancerous breast tissue before administering drug therapy actually benefited patient outcomes. Performing surgery before giving drug therapy has been regarded as a possible metastatic breast cancer treatment strategy for the past decade. It’s based on an analysis of data from earlier research that suggested surgery could potentially lengthen a woman’s survival time by up to 50 percent.

However, the current study indicates that surgery before systemic drug therapy is not more beneficial than using drug therapy alone, and these findings are in-line with results from other recent international investigations.

“Our work shows that an operation does not offer patients any advantage in terms of survival,” says Fitzal. “This means that, in the interests of giving them better quality-of-life, many of them could be spared this stressful procedure. This could cause a paradigm shift in the treatment of primary metastatic breast cancer.”

This multi-center study was sponsored by the Austrian Breast & Colorectal Cancer Study Group. The results were presented at an American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.

Source: Science Daily


 
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