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Researchers determine effective treatment for women with genetic risk factors for breast cancer

Category: Breast

Following a positive breast cancer test, women with a particular genetic mutation that puts them at risk for aggressive forms of the disease have better life expectancies when they are given a combination of chemotherapy and the medication herceptin, according to a new study.

They most important thing is to catch the tumor early, said the University of California, Los Angeles researchers who conducted the investigation.

Women who have a genetic variation known as HER-2 are significantly more likely to develop breast cancer that is resistant to most common medications, making it difficult to treat. However, after tracking the health of a group of women with risk factor for more than five years, the researchers found individuals were much more likely to survive when they were started on a combination of chemotherapy and herceptin at an early stage of the disease.

"We're encouraged that the survival advantages found in this study have been maintained and continue to be significant," said Dennis Slamon, the UCLA researcher who led the investigation. "I believe there's room for even further improvement."

He added that the study could have implications for establishing best practices in treating breast cancer in these women.  ADNFCR-2248-ID-800613160-ADNFCR

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