MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper has joined a clinical research study to determine if certain breast cancer patients can be treated without surgery.

The study is being done in conjunction with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and is led by principal investigator Henry M. Kuerer, MD, PhD, professor in the Department of Breast Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson. It’s looking at whether or not breast cancer patients who respond positively to neoadjuvant systemic therapy can be treated without surgery.

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is the administration of intravenous therapeutic agents to reduce a tumor in advance of another treatment such as surgery. Researchers believe that some patients with certain kinds of breast cancer who have an extraordinary response to pre-surgery chemotherapy can benefit from this type of treatment without surgery and not require a lumpectomy.

“This study has the potential to spare patients from surgery and its attendant risks and potential complications when they may not derive a significant benefit. This study supports the national initiative toward minimizing over treatment of breast cancer,” said Catherine E. Loveland-Jones, MD, MS, attending surgeon at MD Anderson at Cooper.

This new trial is open to women with tumors that are less than 5 centimeters and either triple-negative and/or Her2-neu positive. After completing chemotherapy, patients will undergo an image-guided biopsy. Those patients without residual disease will not have surgery and instead go on to receive standard radiation. The patients will then be followed very closely for 5 years with physical exams and breast imaging to make sure the cancer does not recur.

Lead Research/Investigator
Catherine E. Loveland-Jones


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