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New Research Supports Reducing or Forgoing Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

Presented at this year’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the results of two clinical trials, TAILORx and PERSEPHONE, indicate that reducing chemotherapy may have benefits in some patients with breast cancer. The TAILORx trial demonstrated that some patients can be treated with hormonal therapy alone and do not need chemotherapy to prevent recurrence.

The second trial, PERSEPHONE, supports the “less-is-more” notion. In this trial, researchers compared the standard, 12-month chemotherapy course with a shorter, 6-month course of the same drug. The survival of patients in 12-month and 6-month group was nearly identical, but the side effects were reduced in the 6-month group, indicating that a shorter chemotherapy course may be recommended in these patients.