[MOL] Test may spare some from chemo..... [00321] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] Test may spare some from chemo.....

Tuesday, April 04, 2000
Test May Spare Some >From Chemo

      Testing for the presence of two proteins may help spare women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer from unnecessary chemotherapy.
       That's the finding from a new study presented Monday at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Francisco. Dr. Anita Prechtl, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Munich Technical University in Munich, Germany says women with high levels of these proteins, called uPA (urokinase-type plasminogen activator) and PAI-1, face a higher risk of the cancer spreading even though their lymph nodes are cancer-free.
      These proteins could help determine which patients should receive chemotherapy. For some women with small tumors, but cancer-free lymph nodes, there is a risk the cancer will come back. Chemotherapy can reduce this risk by one-third, but doctors don't always know who is at risk for recurrence and who isn't.
      European physicians already use this protein test routinely, but American doctors say they want more evidence before incorporating the test into regular breast cancer care. In Dr. Prechtl's study, women with low levels of uPA and PAI-1 were not given any additional treatment after surgery and radiation. Those with high levels either received chemotherapy or no treatment. The women who received no treatment and tested positive for high levels of these proteins showed the highest rate of recurrence within three years.
--By Katrina Woznicki

Warmly, lillian
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