Second biopsy may determine efficacy of breast cancer treatments
Many women with breast cancer are given a prescription to buy Tamoxifen to prevent a recurrence of the condition. However, this drug does not work on certain forms of the disease.
Many women with breast cancer are given a prescription to buy Tamoxifen to prevent a recurrence of the condition. However, this drug does not work on certain forms of the disease. A new study suggests that further testing after breast cancer treatment has started may help doctors determine if they providing the right therapy.
A team of researchers from Princess Margaret Hospital showed that taking a second biopsy of the affected area following initial surgery and the start of treatment can show doctors if the patient is responding to the therapy prescribed or if a change is needed.
The team based their findings on biopsies taken from 121 women with progressive or recurrent breast cancer. The samples were tested for markers of medication effect. The findings could lead to a change in the way in which the disease is handled, the researchers said.
"For clinicians, these findings show it is feasible to biopsy recurrence of breast cancer," said Dr. Eitan Amir, who led the investigation. "For patients with progressive or recurring disease, these findings may encourage them to ask their physician if a second biopsy is needed to confirm their treatment therapy is still correct."