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Landmark Study Finds More Breast Cancer Patients Can Safely Forgo Chemotherapy

A 21-gene test performed on tumors could enable most patients with the most common type of early breast cancer to safely forgo chemotherapy, according to a landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Loyola Medicine oncologist Kathy Albain, MD, is among the main co-authors of the study and a member of the clinical trial's steering committee. First author is Joseph Sparano, MD, of Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, NY. The study was published in conjunction with its presentation at the plenary session of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2018 annual meeting in Chicago.

"With results of this groundbreaking study, we now can safely avoid chemotherapy in about 70 percent of patients who are diagnosed with the most common form of breast cancer," Albain said. "For countless women and their doctors, the days of uncertainty are over."

Albain, the Huizenga Family Endowed Chair in Oncology Research at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, has conducted research with the 21-gene test and also used it in her practice for years.

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