[MOL] New Breast Cancer Tests Too New, Experts Decide [00221] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] New Breast Cancer Tests Too New, Experts Decide

New Breast Cancer Tests Too New, Experts Decide
    [11/06/2000; Reuters News Service]

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New tests are being developed
that should eventually help doctors tailor treatment
for breast cancer patients, but they are still too
experimental to use on most patients, experts said on Friday.
They said the tests, including genetic tests meant to show whether
a tumor will be affected by a certain drug, need to be assessed
further in clinical trials to make sure they will actually make
a difference to women. The experts, including top oncologists
and researchers from around the country, spent three days debating
the best breast cancer treatments at a National Institutes of
Health 'consensus conference''. ``It is not to say they these
(new tests) shouldn't be studied,'' Dr. Patricia Eifel, a professor
at the M.D. Anderson cancer center at the University of Texas
and chair of the panel, told a news conference. ``A lot of these
are not sufficiently validated to use in determining therapy
at this point.'' ``They have a lot of potential,'' added Dr. Jose
Costa of the Yale University School of Medicine. The trouble is,
only a very small percentage of cancer patients take part in
clinical trials, so it is hard to quickly get useful information
about potential new treatments.

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