WHO:  Breast Cancer Expert at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health

WHAT: Groundbreaking TAILORx Study

WHEN: Noon, Tuesday, June 5, 2018

WHERE: Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, 10600 Quivira Rd., 460, Overland Park, Kan.

MEDIA: Go to main entrance for escort to interview.

WHY: On June 3 at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago, results were revealed of TAILORx, a large national trial that looked to answer the question, “Which patient really needs chemotherapy to treat their breast cancer?”

The study, presented on Sunday and also published in the New England Journal of Medicine, determines that most patients with early-stage breast cancer may be able to avoid chemotherapy. Researchers found that patients with smaller-sized tumors that had not spread to the lymph nodes did just as well without chemo as those who got the treatment,

“For years breast cancer experts have used a genetic test to assess cancer risk, based on 21 genes linked with breast cancer recurrence,” says Anne Kobbermann, M.D., Board-certified and Fellowship-trained Breast Surgical Oncologist at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health. “The score has come as high, intermediate, and low risk—representing both benefit from chemotherapy and risk of cancer returning. Patients with intermediate scores would sometimes have to make difficult decisions with limited data.”

Dr. Kobbermann observes that “between 2006-2010, more than 10,000 women participated in this trial. Women with scores between 11 and 25 were randomized to chemo or no chemo. And the definitive results show patients with scores of less than 25 get no benefit from adding chemotherapy. Not only does this change the standard of practice, but it means that hundreds of thousands of persons with breast cancer can safely receive less toxic treatment.” 

In the world of treating breast cancer—with more than 250,000 women in the U.S. expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer over the next year­—the findings are significant.

“The research in this study could benefit tens of thousands of women diagnosed with non-invasive, or early stage, disease,” says Stephanie Graff, M.D., Board-certified/Fellowship- trained in Medical Oncology, and Internal Medicine and Director of the Breast Program at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health and Associate Director of the Breast Cancer Research Program at Sarah Cannon Research Institute. “Now we have a test

to determine which early-stage breast cancer patients—and that’s most of them—can forego chemotherapy. The impact of this information is truly momentous, as it means that thousands of women will be spared from chemotherapy and its side effects, helping improve quality of life. It also means that tools like this test will make tailored medicine a reality, allowing us to offer the right therapy for the right patient at the right time.”

For more information about the network-accredited cancer program, Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest, at HCA Midwest Health—Kansas City’s leading healthcare and breast cancer care provider—visit https://hcamidwest.com/service/cancer-care.