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New breast cancer therapy undergoes successful testing

Category: Breast

A new breast cancer therapy that was developed and tested by University of Oklahoma researchers may be able to kill large tumors and reduce the need for mastectomies.

Dr William Dooley, director of surgical oncology at OU, and his colleagues recently developed a breast cancer treatment called focused microwave thermotherapy, which was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

In a recent study, researchers tested the heating therapy on large tumors that normally require mastectomies. When implementing the treatment within two hours of a patient's chemotherapy session, doctors found that the tumor was more susceptible and shrunk rapidly. The percentage of respondents needing mastectomies decreased from 75 percent to 7 percent.

"This therapy is a major advancement for women with later stage breast cancer," said Dooley. "Right now, most patients with large tumors lose their breast. With this treatment along with chemotherapy, we were able to kill the cancer and save the breast tissue."

The next step for the team is to begin clinical trials to determine whether the treatment works on tumors larger than one and a half inches and smaller than 5 inches.

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